Thursday, March 14, 2013

Imagine No Malaria-Lenten Devotion Day 30: March 14

Thursday, March 14, 2013: Help Me to Love 

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my father.”

In a New Yorker magazine cartoon, two seminary students are walking across the cam-pus. One of them says to the other: “What gets me in this business is having to love everybody even if you don’t like them.” 

If we have been hurt deeply, or betrayed, or humiliated, it is very difficult to love that person. 
Yet, if we do not love as Jesus commands, our own spiritual health is jeopardized. I learned that truth many years ago as a missionary in the Congo where I met someone whom I thought impossible to love. 

But God loves us infinitely. And he offers us, through his Holy Spirit, the strength to love others, as he has loved us. 

The same God, who gives us this commandment, gives us the strength to obey it. This love is an incredible gift of grace. And, I believe the church is beginning to rediscover the need to follow this example of our Lord. 

Prayer: Gracious Father, teach me to love, to really care about others. Help me to share that love through my attitudes and actions. Amen. 

Rev. Jerry Schmidt, Pennsylvania 

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