Faithfulness can seem impossible sometimes. There are so many things God hopes for us to do and not do. We wonder how we can possibly live up to the letter of the law.
But when we really dig down, the spirit of the law is not so difficult. God loves us and empowers us to love back to God and out to others. That’s it: love is the law.next >
"The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day, he took two full days’ worth of wages and gave them to the innkeeper. He said, ‘Take care of him, and when I return, I will pay you back for any additional costs.’ What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?”
Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Luke 10:34-37next >
My friend Keryl is director of a homeless shelter. It all started when she was 16, buying hamburgers for and sharing time with hungry people she met at McDonalds.
One particular man she ate with said nothing — ever. Keryl felt maybe she’d invaded his privacy. One day, this silent, shuffling man pulled out a cloth bag, like an old-timey coin purse. He fished out a jeweled heart necklace, then slid it across the table and gestured for Keryl to put it on.
Keryl has dedicated her life to serving people in need, and she does it wearing a treasured, heart-shaped necklace. The necklace reminds her that Christ’s love is costly and inconvenient, but it changes your life. Like a Samaritan springing for medical care for a stranger, a man giving his prized possession when words won’t work, or a teenager sharing her limited free time and babysitting money with someone with no food — this love Christ calls us to is BIG, but we already have what we need to share it.
Shelli Lathamnext >
God of endless love, remind me of the gifts and talents you’ve entrusted to me, and give me the courage to use them in big, bold acts of mercy and love. Amen.next >
It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have. The alphabet is fine, but it’s what we do with it that matters most. Making words like “friend” and “love.” That’s what really matters.
Today, may you do something that matters, trusting that you’re wrapped in the arms of our gracious God, whose number one rule is “Love!”
Shelli Latham is the pastor at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta, Georgia. She believes the church is a place youth should be seen AND heard, loves Bible stories about feisty women doing gutsy things, celebrates any excuse to fly a kite in worship, and prefers her yellow cupcakes without icing.
Wondrous Love: Music of Lent - Jesus Lover of My Soul