September 18, 2019
Scripture: 1st John 4:21
This commandment we have from him: Those who claim to love God ought to love their brother and sister also.
Thought for the Day: Jesus summarized all the laws with just one that had a Part-A and Part-B. We are to love the Lord and love our neighbor. The author of 1st John wanted to make sure we did not read it as an either/or. It was not one or the other. In fact, the very concept of claiming to love God, the One who demonstrated the value of every human life through the gift of Jesus, has no other logical point than to love our neighbor, to love our brothers and sisters. Too often we make loving God into more of a show, a worshipping frenzy or overly wordy prayer. Centuries earlier, the Prophet Isaiah sharply criticized those who had made loving God into nothing more than following rules and rituals. It wasn’t love, but some sort of self-serving act self-righteousness. This is why the author of 1st John was able to declare without hesitation that those who did not love a brother or sister that they could see did not love God who they could not see. The practice and experience of worship is healthy and helpful, but it is not a demonstration of love. If we love God, we don’t need to ask how that love is made real for others to see.
Prayer: I love you, O Holy God, and today I will do my best to show my love for you as I love those who I meet along the way. Amen.
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