Day 23

December 21

December 21

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind- 6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you- 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Lord is Near To All

Deborah De Laurell, M.M.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This year has been one of waiting. For vaccines, for Holy Justice, for elections to end, for hurricane winds to quiet, for bombs to be disarmed, for fires to be quenched. I feel in my body the deep, aching unrest.

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,

The Lord finds many inside suffering. And so from inside a pandemic, inside social unrest, and inside hurricanes, bombs, and fires, I raise my feeble thanks to the Lord, that I still have life, a healthy family, a job, while so many others...

that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge

I imagine Paul had a Social Worker's heart as he wrote this letter to the Corinthians. That the language of the Social Worker, the language of justice, inclusion, presence in struggle, is the language of Jesus, the true Enricher, not only the source of knowledge and compassion, but those qualities embodied. Jesus is Knowledge; is Compassion.

even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you

The Lord is with his people in hopelessness as much as in hope. He is next to the COVID patients, working through our doctors, nurses, PAs, and janitorial staff as they do what they can to heal. People are sick, some dying, all of them beloved. Christ does not need to draw close, because He is already there.

so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Christ's birth, death, resurrection, and promise of second coming seems the only gift. The world is raging, and we stand, move, and pray because the Lord has been and is and will come again. I imagine myself a shepherd, my job in the world small, my responsibility to my sheep all consuming, coming up on a dirty barn and finding the king of the world in a pile of hay, wrapped in old cloth. The only true Gift born with none.

who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lord, sustain the oppressed, the disenfranchised, the sick, the dying. Use us, Baylor, us, Human, to usher in a time where all can run, drive, live, and work in safety. Lord, sustain us, Baylor, us, human, and move our feet towards justice, unity, towards your kingdom on earth. You are with us as we live, and your promises endure as we die.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

God, your Faithfulness is our Peace. The world is in turmoil. It burns and blows and kills. Yet You are faithful. Yet You are Peace. We do not understand it now, Father. And so, in faith wemove. In faith, we wait and pray.


Learn More About Our Guest Writer

NameDeborah De Laurell, M.M.

Deborah De Laurell, M.M., is Program Manager for the Global Mission Leadership (GML) Initiative in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. She works closely with the directors of and students in the GML and MSW programs in support of the missions of both programs.

The Global Mission Leadership (GML) Initiative of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work contributes to Christ-centered international development by cultivating reciprocal cross-cultural learning, encouraging responsible engagement with faith-based communities and engaging in collaborative scholarship that allows communities around the world to thrive.