The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, January 2, 2022 comes to us from Nicholas Patterson of Florida.
31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. 33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:31-35 NIV
When I was much younger, my grandparents adopted me after my mother died. My grandmother was my biggest fan and supported me in school and in my extracurricular activities. She truly loved me. We were always together, so people would always associate me with her and her with me. When we were apart, people would always ask about the other person.
Since then, I have made poor choices and am now in prison. My grandmother passed away a couple of years ago. Since I don’t get visits, I have a job as the visitation park photographer. Now when families come for visits, I recognize them and associate them with the person they are visiting. Sometimes, even when I have not met someone’s family before, I recognize similar features and end up seeing that person in them. I wonder if people recognize us as always being with God. When they see us, do they also see God and recognize Christ in us? Scripture reminds us that others will see Christ in us when we love one another.
I can only imagine how much Nicholas Patterson grieves for his grandmother and misses relationships with his family. Even through his grief and imprisonment, he has learned to focus on being a disciple and reflecting the presence of God in the world. Nicholas reminds me that, no matter what circumstances I find myself in, I am called to be a disciple of Christ, so that others might see Christ in me as I work to love and serve others.
Dear Jesus, help us to reflect you in all that we do. May others see you in us today and every day. Amen.
Families who are Separated.
Thought for the Day:
Does my relationship with Jesus show through my actions?