Pause

Some pride themselves on being rule-followers. Others see rules as made to be broken.

Think of these “Rules for Relationships” like a ruler – helping us get things straight, connecting two points, allowing us to be level and aligned.

When it comes to loving one another, God knows we need every tool we can get!

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Listen

“I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”

Matthew 18:18-20

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Think

This passage can be puzzling. There’s no magic formula to get God to do what we want. But the message here seems to be one of unity – of coming together in agreement of spirit and believing that God will work in a special way among those who seek divine help.

Especially in a season of conflict and isolation, praying together can bring surprising connection and solutions. Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” You may not be able to worship with your whole church family right now, but is there another person or two you could partner with in prayer in the coming weeks? Be assured, with hearts united in prayer, we are less alone than we might think.

When have you felt God’s presence among you?

Cari Pattison

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Pray

God, thank you for giving the gift of prayer. Help me remember the words of one of the kings in the Hebrew Bible: “Lord we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Go

Being human together can be hard.
Be gentle with yourself.
Be generous to others.

Love might require effort.
It might mean saying “no.”
It might include “I’m sorry,”
or “I don’t know.”

And when it comes down to it, loving your neighbor as yourself simply means paying attention to what you feel and need and offering the same to another person.

Go in love,
and God be with you.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison is a Presbyterian (PC USA) pastor, soon to start a new ministry call in the Mid-Hudson Valley region (NY). She spent the past year thru-hiking two-thirds of the Appalachian Trail and learning a lot about gear, birdcalls, and broken ankles. Originally from Kansas City, she loves both the flatland prairies of the Great Plains and the rolling mountains of the Northeast, and loves how Jesus comes to find you no matter where you go.

It Is Well With My Soul

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