Today's Lectionary Text
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
There are many people in my life whose faith and values don’t usually line up with mine, yet they are people I care for immensely. I am in awe of their creativity, their natural gifts and their hard-earned talents. I admire the way they are the first to mobilize help for a friend in need and embrace the uniqueness each person embodies. We have shared countless laughs and made hundreds of memories. I count myself lucky to have friends like these.
But there are many times my heart breaks for them. They truly do not understand the source of the good things in their lives. I wonder, if there is no God, what do you think drives your desire to create, to show us the world from your unique point of view, to search for truth and seek justice for others? And if you are so complete without God, why is positive affirmation never enough, your relationships full of such turmoil, and the things you do to feel better leave you feeling empty?
Truly, there are times when I myself feel incomplete and experience the void of doubt. But deep in my heart there is always a sense of peace – God’s peace. A peace that tells me I am loved, that my life has purpose, that all of our suffering isn’t for nothing. It doesn’t matter if I achieve enough, if others love me enough or if I have all the answers – God loves me.
And because I know God loves me, I live differently. This is what I want for my friends – to know they are loved unconditionally by God, so they can move through life bearing the spark of hope.
I hope my attitudes and actions mirror the Grace I am receiving, so that others will want to know the God for whom I live.
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Prayer for Reflection
Creative, loving God, as we head into a new year, help us see anew your love for us. Help us to stay grounded in that love so that our attitudes and actions draw others in to get to know You better. Amen.
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