Pause

Love is a universal spiritual gift. God gives each person the capacity to love others deeply, truly, honestly, and with no strings attached. While one’s calling can be difficult to understand sometimes, we know God calls us to share God’s love with others.

What does it mean to show others love or to respond to others with love?

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Listen

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:10-11

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Think

It can be easy to love our friends. Friends are the people you choose; people who accept you, look like you, or live the way you live. Our friends can annoy us or even betray us, but we usually heal trouble with our friends because life with them is better than life without them. How many of us spend energy on loving people who do not love us back? Do you spend time on people that do not bring you happiness, do not accept you, do not look like you, or do not live the way you live? And why would you love someone who is hard to love? What benefit is there in that?

But every person can create unhappiness. All of us can act in unlovable ways. We can be selfish or destructive to ourselves or to others, and yet God’s love is unconditional for everyone. God’s love sees the treasure in each of us. Are we willing to search for that very treasure in everyone?

Patricia Lyons

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Pray

Lord Jesus, you said to your followers, “I call you friends.” Thank you for choosing me as your friend and loving me unconditionally. Help me to offer friendship to those who long for it. Amen.

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Go

Life together means we live in community with all types of people. This is not an easy task, and God understands it is not easy for us. Yet we are still asked by God to be people with open arms, willing to hug, love, and accept the dirtiest, weirdest, poorest, richest, sickest, meanest people. Life together, with all the different types of people in the world, is messy and interesting.

God wants us to experience life together, not life separated. Be alert! Be open!

Patricia Lyons

Patricia Lyons currently teaches religion and ethics at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes High School, in Alexandria, Virginia, and also teaches adults at Virginia Theological Seminary.

The Old Rugged Cross

Clay Mottley

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