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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[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:7

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There's a board game called “Worst Case Scenario: Surviving the Game of Life.” In the game, everyone is given a person-shaped game piece. This cardboard person has detachable legs, arms, and a head. Whenever you escape from a crisis, you get a gold coin. When you fail, you rip off a limb or your head. When all your limbs are gone, you go to the graveyard. If you win the game, you wind up in the Mega-Million-Dollar Mansion with all your coins.

Students say this game is a perfect metaphor for how stressful their lives can feel. Too often surviving is stressful and always defined by money. It can feel like every hour is a chance for wealth or wounds. It's hard to hope when we're afraid. It's hard to feel protected when we believe our efforts are our only resource for safety. And it's hard to trust anyone when we feel we are in competition with everyone. But God’s love is not a game; it "bears all things."

Patricia Lyons

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Loving God, your Word says constantly to your followers: Be not afraid. Help me to trust in you even when I have doubts. Amen.

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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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