May 31. Week of Prayer for Christian unity.   Though small and suffering, we lack nothing: Matt 2:6 “And you, Bethlehem… are by no means least”

Reflect, share, act. Though of little significance among the great clans of Judah, Bethlehem was made great because of the birth of the Shepherd of all shepherds, the King of all kings. Bethlehem, a name that means the “house of bread”, can be a metaphor for the Church that brings to the world the bread of life. The Church, the Bethlehem of today, continues to be the place where the weak, the powerless and the small are welcome because in her each has a place. The gathering of these grains becomes the harvest. The united yeast becomes a powerful force. The concentrated rays become a guiding light.

In the midst of political turmoil, a growing culture of greed, and the abuse of power in this world, Christians, like others in the Middle East, suffer persecution and experience a sense of marginalisation, living in fear of violence and injustice. Yet, they are not afraid because the Shepherd walks with them, gathering them into one fold and making them a sign of his loving presence. United, they are the yeast that leavens the batch. In Christ they find a model of humility, and from him they hear a call to overcome divisions and to be united in one flock. Though they are few, in their suffering they follow in the steps of the Lamb who suffered for the world’s salvation. Though few they are sure in hope, lacking nothing. Pope Francis: A journey of peace is possible between religions. it point of departure must be God’s way of seeing things. God does not see with his eyes. God sees with his heart. FT 281. Pray for Lutheran /Moravian Churches