Prayer: Great God, may Your love come down upon the earth like the refreshing rains and snow. Holy God, may Your love come down into those areas that are under war and strife. Almighty God, may Your love come down in our communities so that we can take Your love into all the lands. Amen.
Read St. Luke 6: 27 - 28
What does Jesus tell the disciples to do about people who don’t like them? To love everyone. What does Jesus tell the disciples to do about people who curse them? To love everyone. What does Jesus tell the disciples to do about people who mistreat them? To love everyone.
Wow, that is a tall order. Don’t you wonder if the disciples heard Jesus’ words and thought to themselves, “Wow! This is hard work! We have to love those who hate and curse and mistreat us and others. Phew, this is going to be hard work.” And indeed it is hard work. Jesus never said that living life as a Christian would be easy. But what happens if we become lazy and don’t love with our whole hearts? Simple. Then the love of Jesus is extinguished in the world.
On our kitchen wall is a quote by Francois Mauriac “The day you no longer burn with love, many others will die of the cold”. Francois Mauriac was a French author, journalist, and playwright. At the heart of most of his novels is a religious person who battles with problems of sin, grace, and salvation. As a journalist, Francois Mauriac frequently got into public debate on world issues (and community issues!). Yet from this very complex gentleman who’s writing is always way above my understanding comes this quote that is a wonderful daily reminder for each of us.
When we remember to love, Jesus lives in us and we live in Jesus. Jesus gives us his heart to love with and he gives us a new strength to struggle against the evil in ourselves and in this world. What a gift!
Prayer: Help us each day O Lord, to burn with Your love so that no one will die of the cold. Help us to love and by loving to know that Jesus lives in us and we live in Jesus. As we pray for Your love to be spread throughout this world, we know that Your love strengthens us and provides us with the enthusiasm to change our community and world. We know that Your love provides us with wisdom to guide our community and world to peace and justice. We know that Your love provides us with healing so that the world will one day be filled with Your love. Amen.