“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
It is easy to hold grudges; to be angry at one another.
It is easy to be upset at the things we say or didn’t say to each other; the things we did or didn’t do.
I could get upset at least a million times a day at a million different things at a million different people. I have no doubt that many of you are in the same boat. There is definitely a reason why we say “To err is human, to forgive Divine.”
I treasure the song “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love” because it is also so deeply true. True Christians are able to see past differences, disagreements, and of course disappointments in order to love one another.
Have you ever been cut off by a car that didn’t use a blinker but had a fish sticker, a respect life license plate, or some Christianese bumper sticker?
I once had a car ride my bumper for nearly 5 miles, even honking at me once because I was going the speed limit. It was on my way to my first Sunday as pastor, and because I felt a bit threatened, I drove past the church to circle back around and watched in my rear-view mirror as the car turned into the Church parking lot. I can only imagine the unsavory things said about my cautious driving by that particular church member. I’m not sure if that member realized who they were treating so poorly on the road that Sunday but I’ve never told them.
Did you see how Jesus started this conversation in our scripture reading today?
“A new command I give you: Love one another.” Jesus understood that this isn’t inherent human nature. Jesus preached throughout his ministry this idea of love being the baseline of who we are as followers of Jesus. Turn the other cheek, whatever you do for the least of these you do for Jesus, and dozens of other lessons were taught daily to the disciples and are still being taught to us today.
Pray: Dear God, release from me my hurt, my anger, my frustration. Continue to teach me to love those that I may disagree with or disappoint me. When I fail, pick me up and lead me back on the path.
Read: Matthew 5: 3-12(The Beatitudes)
Act: Let someone go in front of you in the checkout stand.
Yourself: Go for a walk every day this week. Doesn’t have to be long walk but take pauses to breathe deeply. Let the fresh air fill your lungs and remind you deeply how alive you are, right now.
Rev. Lou Ward
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La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
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