Devotional: With Gratitude and Restlessness – for God and Others
Reflection on Exodus 23:9
Each week we’ll be sharing a devotional focusing our hearts on Scripture passages that can form our hearts to better love our neighbors. Each will end with a prayer and practical reflection to carry you into your day.
“You shall not oppress a resident alien; you know the heart of an alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 23:9
“Our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee,” Augustine wrote 1,600 years ago. We are citizens of heaven, as it says in Philippians 3:20, and yet God shows that he wants us to have homes – as he led Israel to the promised land. He provided a home where they weren’t exploited and endangered, as they were in Egypt, and we trust God wants that for all of God’s children. So may we stay restless for and grounded in our life with God, grateful for the homes and security we have, and sensitive to the pain and loss who have had to flee their homes because they were under threat.
Loving God, may we seek our home in you and be restless for you, restless for what matters most, restless to seek first your kingdom as citizens of heaven.
Loving God, may we be grateful for the gifts you’ve given us. You gave Israel the gift of home, after they’d been exploited in slavery, after they’d been wandering in the desert. You’ve given us a place to call home, even temporarily, for which we’re grateful.
Loving God, may we be restless on behalf of those who have had to leave the place of their citizenship behind. May we be restless for those who are surrounded by fear, loss, and uncertainty. And as we remember the goodness of your gifts to us, may we be moved and help others to be moved to help those without homes.
In these complex issues, we pray you will give us wisdom to understand the issues that affect those forced to migrate. Give us words to speak when the time is right, with refugees we meet and know as well as on their behalf in private and in public. Give us guidance to act in ways that best help refugees.
Loving God, we are restless till we find our rest in Thee – and part of that restlessness is to love your children who are most vulnerable.
We do all this from the gratitude that you are our provider and that we know your grace through Jesus Christ,
Practical Reflection to Carry Into Your Day:
How can I help someone who is away from home feel more at home?