In your life, you may experience change, uncertainty, division and strife. From violence and unrest, to political disputes and family hardships, our struggles have challenged us to find ways to love God and our neighbors. In this time, many of us have asked how we are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Guided by the Holy Spirit, looking upward and leaning upon the presence of our Heavenly Father, these meditations are meant to help lead our daily tasks and actions as people of Christian faith.
The following are scripture passages and reflections meant for personal, family or small group devotions.
Focus on two things: Love God, Love Neighbor
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Practice your faith: How can you focus on these two things in your personal life?
Focus on love of all neighbors – even the ones you feel you are in opposition to. Find ways that bring unity. Seek mercy.
“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Practice your faith: How can you love someone that you feel you are against? What steps can you take to seek unity?
Reserve judgment, for God is the ultimate and righteous judge. Instead, seek understanding, including common ground for the common good.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Practice your faith: How much time do you spend in judgment of others? What do you judge them on? How can you suspend these judgments so that you can be free to love?
Listen first, then speak. Repeat.
“You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.”
Practice your faith: How can you listen first, then speak in your daily life? How does someone know that you listened to them?
Focus on being a person of light.
Matthew 5: 14a & 16
“You are the light of the world…In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
Practice your faith: How can you be a light in the darkness?
Prayer is a refuge, a time to rest in our Lord’s loving arms.
“But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Practice your faith: Challenge yourself to give the same amount of time to praying and nurturing your relationship with God as much as you engage with social media, social commentary and the news. Take time to pray, pray for our communities, civic leaders and all whom we call neighbor.
Remember the people who are vulnerable in our communities.
“But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.”
Hundreds of scripture passages mention caring for the widow, orphan, non-resident, refugee, children, sick, prisoner in our communities. Do a simple word search in scripture and see what you find. We are called by our Heavenly Father to look after each other.
Practice your faith: Is there someone you can call on and check-in on how they are doing? Reach out and remember them in a special way.
All scriptural passages taken from New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.