Today's Lectionary Text
Ephesians 4:32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
This devotion is a repost from one year ago today. Many communities had elections this week, so it serves as a reminder to recall our faith, kindness, compassion and forgiveness in divisive moments.
As I’m writing this it’s Election Day. I don’t know if we will know the results of many of the races tonight or even this week including the presidential race. There’s anxiety in the air, there’s the palpable fear of what we don’t know. Some people I know are retreating from social media for a few days, others are watching comforting movies or reading old favorites.
It should be of no surprise to many of you who read the devotion on a regular basis that I turn to Mr. Rogers. For Christmas last year my aunt gifted me with two books of Fred Rogers quotes. As I was leafing through my copy of “The World According to Mister Rogers,” two quotes on facing pages stood out to me.
“As different as we are from one another, as unique as each one of us is, we are much more the same than we are different. That may be the most essential message of all, as we help our children row toward being caring, compassionate, and charitable adults.”
And: “Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person. There have been so many stories of the lack of courtesy, the impatience of today’s world, road rage and even restaurant rage. Sometimes, all it takes is one kind word to nourish another person. Think of the ripple effect that can be created when we nourish someone. One kind empathetic word has a wonderful way of turning into many.”
The world around us has become so divisive. I don’t know that the results of this election will make it better or worse. I don’t know how affected you feel personally by what happens in Washington or in your state capitol, but I do know that God has gifted us the power to love one another.
In the verse today, we are to share the kindness, compassion and forgiveness gifted to us from God. There are no footnotes, no exclusions, no specific scenarios. We are to share kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Period. Imagine an upswell of these three things in your church, your neighborhood, county, or state. If each of us shared these three things, and those we shared them with went on to share those things imagine the impact that would have on our homes, communities, states, and our nation.
Fred Rogers has become so much more to me in my adulthood than he was to me as a child. His wife would tell you he was no saint, but I do see him now as a man of faith who taught me lessons as a child that would serve throughout my life. He’s been a faith mentor all along, cleverly disguised as the host of a children’s television program. I wish he were here today to help guide us through these turbulent times, but he left us with his lessons rooted in faith.
Today and everyday will you help me build our neighborhood on the foundations of faith, kindness, compassion and forgiveness?
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Prayer for Reflection
Heavenly Father, help us in these days to come to treat each other with kindness, compassion and forgiveness so freely given by you so that we could share it with each other.
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