Love One Another

Written by Toby Hedgepeth

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Scripture: John 13:34  – I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 

Reflection:  The news is always sad. There are times when I wish the news would carry more lighthearted stories of love, compassion, giving – but even when these types of stories are shown, they become overshadowed with the news of hatred, violence, terrorism, and inadequate leadership. I often find myself asking “how do we counter the negativity in the world?” How do we live in the world, all the while not conforming to it?

This isn’t a rhetorical question. I would love to know the answer to it.

When I saw the terrorist attacks unfold in New Zealand, last week, I found myself responding with an exhausted “here we go again.” Why are things like this continuing to happen? This is something I definitely should not become immune to, but I have.

My doubt is asking the question of “what”, not “why.” Even though I realize it would be nice to know “why”, the most pressing question to me is “what do we do to create a world where love abounds?” How do we love one another, as Christ commanded? How can we become people who are willing to change the world around us?

I don’t want to see another attack in the news, but how do lowly people, like myself, usher in hope and love in the midst of it? We can’t always just talk about it; how do we make it a part of our own mission? How do we incorporate, into our daily steps, a provocative idea that provides hope for the marginalized, the disinherited, the heavy burdened?  

I know this may seem like boiling the ocean, but we must start somewhere! I’m willing to do small things, in love – one person at a time – to change the narrative. We are all a part of the body of Christ – different races, dogmas, orientations, understandings etc.… Even so, let us all embrace the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Let’s stick to love, the first of many steps to changing the world.

Prayer: My God – thank You for Your love. Grant me a portion of the love You give, so I can be light and love to those around me. When the world is losing hope allow me to provide hope through You. When the news doesn’t get any better Lord, give me an idea that will change the narrative in someone’s life, so at least they know there is goodness in Your creation; and people who love without an agenda, without expectation – and who leave the spaces they enter a little better off than they found them. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

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