Back to School


Slow down and be present.

Be present to yourself.

Be present to God, as God is present to you.

Listen for your inner voice.

Listen for what you might speak.


This is how we know love: Jesus laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. But if someone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but refuses to help—how can the love of God dwell in a person like that?

Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth. This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts in God’s presence.

1 John 3:16-19


What does it mean to love someone? Love is an often-overused word in our world. We love ice cream, we love a sunset, we love our family, and the list goes on. It often means liking something or having affection for someone, but this is not the love John is talking about in today’s reading. No, this love is more than just appreciation, and it is most widely known when we do it.

Love looks like making choices not based on our own likes and desires, but thinking about what might be best for someone we care for. Love means acting in ways that honor and support others, so that they can feel confident in their actions and self. Love means being willing to open ourselves up to really hear someone and be present with them in whatever is going on in their life.

When we love, we know God’s presence more closely to us as well. God’s presence always leads to us growing, changing, and becoming the very thing we practice – love.

Andrew Kellner

Question to Ponder:

How do you show love for others, even the people you don’t know?


God, help me to love, in big ways and in small.

The opportunity to love is endless, but sometimes I get distracted and stuck.

Help me to see others and to be present to them.



Go with the strength that comes from God.

Go and speak the words God has given you.