Love one another 1Friends,

The week has been filled with images that may surprise us or open our eyes to conflicts we may not have thought much about until now. There is confusion, misunderstanding, and frustration among people at the workplace, in our communities, even at home.

As Christians, our moral compass firmly informs us that there is no place for hatred, bigotry, or intolerance of one another or for groups that espouse values diametrically opposed to Christ and what He died for. The Christian doctrine of “love one another” sets the bar at a high standard.

Not all people share our Christian values but because we do, we have a mandate to make an impact in the world. As a faith community, we can do our best to be like Jesus, and live the values that glorify the God of us all. When we show patience and kindness to strangers and neighbors, when we let another driver go first at a four-way stop instead of blowing the horn, when we smile and say thank you to the mail deliverer and the clerk at Wal-Mart, and when we offer grace and forgiveness to a friend or family member, we honor God.
When we refuse to be part of jokes about another group of people, when we refuse to engage in conversations that gossip about others, when we will not discriminate against someone because they are different than us, then we honor God.

As we continue to see the confrontations and the hatred and violence that seems to be continuing, let us be in prayer for peace, for hope, for dialogue and understanding of each other, and for the love of Christ to shine through. And when we have a chance to stand up for what is right, what is true, what is pure, let’s do so. Paul says, in Philippians 4:8-9, From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.

May God’s blessings be with you and yours,