Our reading today are the words of Henri Nouwen

“Small signs of friendliness can create much joy, and small disturbances between people much sadness, while the “great events” of the day often do not touch us so deeply. An unexpected note from a friend or the passing remark of a neighbor can make or break your day emotionally, while inflation and recession, war and oppression do not touch my emotions directly. A distant catastrophe has less effect than a nearby mishap, and an inter-personal tiff raises more hackles than a world-wide calamity….

But how little do we use this knowledge? What is easier than writing a thank you note, than sending a card “just to say hello” or give a call “just to see how things have been”? Still, I realize that every time someone says, “I liked your talk” or “I appreciated your remark” or “Your note really helped” or “You really seem to feel at home here” – I feel my inner life being lifted up and the day seems brighter, the grass greener, the snow whiter than before. Indeed, the great mystery is that a small, often quite immaterial gesture can change my heart so much. The way to the heart always seems to be a quiet, gentle way.” (The Way to the Heart)

Scripture Reading:  Nehemiah 8:10-12
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.”  And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

Reflection Questions:
Who do you need to call today?
How can you create joy today?
What small thing has someone done for you today?

Holy God, in word and thought, in deed and gesture, let me be a good friend.  Keep me mindful and appreciative of all who fill my life and bring me joy. Let the sweetness of friendship spill over to all my neighbors who have needs.  Amen.


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