Pause

Parties are sometimes the result of long and detailed planning. They involve decorations, music, food, and formal invitations.

Sometimes, though, parties break out in an all-of-a-sudden kind of way when somebody notices that there is reason to celebrate—right now!

You might think of the Scriptures as one huge invitation to God’s party. See if you can’t find a good reason—right now—to join the celebration.

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Listen

He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 22:37–40

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Think

We can learn a lot from Charlie Brown. He sticks up for the little guy, puts up with Snoopy’s tricks, doesn’t try to take Linus’ blanket away like Lucy does, and picks the meekest of Christmas trees. His life reflects love. And in the end, the entire Peanuts gang tells us that what love is. It’s “walking hand in hand,” “visiting a sick friend,” “meeting someone by the pencil sharpener,” and “loaning your best comic books.”

Do you notice something about this list? It’s the love that Jesus commands for us—“Love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s not passion. It’s not fleeting. It isn’t a feeling. Love is an action that brings people into relationship. Love is an act of kindness toward everyone.

If we all follow Jesus’ commandments, and Charlie Brown’s wisdom, we’ll reach the last item in Charlie Brown’s list about love: “Love is the whole world.”

Jenifer Gamber

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Pray

God of love and kindness, give me eyes to see each person as your beloved, ears to hear your call for me to love, feet to walk with those I do not know, hands to reach out to new friends, lips to say “I love you,” and another day to do it all over again. Amen.

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Go

It takes at least two to celebrate;
But, you know, the more the merrier!

God has made all the preparations
And now awaits your response.

Why not join all the many others
Who have also joined the party?

It’s the best celebration ever!

Jenifer Gamber

A lifelong Episcopalian, Jenifer Gamber is a volunteer educator at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She is co-author of Call on Me: A Prayerbook for Young People. She serves on the board of Forma, writes for buildfaith.org, leads retreats, and speaks nationally about issues related to youth in the church.

Day by Day

Carter Harrell

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