As children of God, we often feel like there is a clear-cut list of dos and don'ts. But in reality, we live our days in gray areas where the rules are not always evident. We create great expectations and routinely let ourselves down. Perhaps we should go back to the source and look beyond our own expectations to the One who calls, claims, forgives, and loves us to the end. Let's journey together to see how this might look for us today.

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You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:15-16

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Often times we hear that we are to "meet people where they are." What does that mean exactly? Aren’t we supposed to be more generous to those living in impoverished settings and perhaps less kind to those that are of great means?

What if what God wants for our lives is for us to meet people exactly where they are and not assume things about them because they are rich or poor? What if God wants us to go to those people, in poverty and in great abundance, and love them equally and fairly as children of God and not as a label that conjures up either positive or negative judgments? What if people did not come with a price tag that brought on our preconceived notions?

We are asked to go and meet God's children and love them, no matter the zip code or the car (or lack thereof) in the driveway. They are children of the Light, desperate for love no matter their circumstances.

Leslie Manning

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God, teach me to love all your children. Help me to meet them without assumptions or preconceived notions. Help me to love. Help me to love them all. Amen.

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“Go forth into the world in peace.
Be strong and of good courage.
Hold fast to that which is good.
Render to no one evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted.
Support the weak.
Help the afflicted.
Honor all persons.
Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit
and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
be among you and remain with you now and forever. Amen.”

—The Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray, II

Leslie Manning

Leslie Manning currently serves as the Director of the Sawyerville Day Camp ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. Prior to this role, Leslie served at a number of parishes and the diocese as a youth minister. Leslie also serves as a consultant for the national consulting firm, Ministry Architects. Leslie is married to the Rev. Bentley Manning and has a three year old daughter, Mary Bentley, and two smelly dogs. They all reside in Birmingham.

Speak to Us, Oh Christ

Ken Medema

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