As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
John 13:31-35 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
In this day and time, it seems that a lot of people act and speak before they think. Everyone has an opinion and if you do not agree with them, then you are against them. I remember the time when we could agree to disagree and still love each other. My dad had a saying that always struck me as funny, but stuck with me. He would say, “Opinions are like butts. Everyone has one!” He was not wrong.
There is so much hatred and violence in the world today. You see it daily in the news. I see so many posts on social media bashing this person or that person, or this cause or that cause. And, it truly hurts my heart to see them from not only people I know across the county or in the community but those in the church.
Two years ago, the school district with which I am employed, experienced a school shooting. That is a day our community will never forget. Last year, during January, we called it, “Kindness Month”. The idea was to show others we love them and concentrate on serving others. The students and staff district-wide worked on various projects to help others and to show thankfulness. In our lessons with the children at church that month, we talked about kindness and ways we could also show that kindness to others. One of the young girls asked, “Shouldn’t we be doing this all of the time, not just in January?” She got it! We should love others all of the time, just as God has loved us.
In our scripture today, Jesus gave a New Commandment, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” Jesus said that everyone will know that we are his disciples. Love is not just a feeling, it is a verb – an action. Stop and think before you act. Will this show that I am a disciple of Jesus and help to build your kingdom? Or, will it cause hurt and dissension? Or, more importantly, will it keep an unbeliever from accepting Christ? Let others see Jesus’ love through your love.
God of love, help us to be kind and mindful of our words and actions. And, that through those words and actions, not only will we love others, as you have loved us, but they will see you through our actions. Amen.
Go with God!
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