God, give me courage to take on this day.

Jesus, give me words when I don’t know what to say.

Spirit, give me breath so I can work and play.

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This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:12-13

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John serves up a tall order today. Are we really expected to give up our life for our friends? What does that even mean? We know that Jesus gave up his life for all of us for all eternity, but are we really supposed to give up our lives that same way Jesus did?

In this time of pandemic, life and death have become scary and confusing. Adults can’t seem to make up their minds about the best way to do things. People are blaming and shaming one another about a virus and how to deal with it. School, whether online or in person, is supposed to be a safe space for students. But nothing feels really safe right now. Maybe Jesus is reminding us to be thoughtful, considerate, and kind. Maybe we are supposed to be thinking about others instead of ourselves, and that’s how we can follow the example of Jesus.

Bronwyn Clark Skov

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Holy one, bless me with compassion today, so I don’t worry too much about myself. Help me focus on being helpful to others. Help me be a protector of others through my own actions, like Jesus was a protector of his friends.

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Let me be a friend to those who have few friends,

Let me find a friend when I feel lonely,

Let me walk away from danger to safety,

Help me walk in the light and love of Jesus.

Bronwyn Skov

Bronwyn Clark Skov serves as the Officer for Youth Ministries for The Episcopal Church. She is passionate about lay leadership, mentoring young people in their Christian journey, and empowering adults who work with youth. Currently she is the primary coordinator for the triennial Episcopal Youth Event and the General Convention Official Youth Presence. In her spare time, she volunteers in her home parish and is an active member of the National Ski Patrol. She works from her rural southern Minnesota home where she lives with her recently retired spouse, a dog, a cat, two goats, and four fish.

Quiet as God

Carter Harrell

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