All Earth Is Hopeful - December 21st
1 John 4:12
For though we have never yet seen God, when we love each other, God lives in us, and his love within us grows ever stronger.
I loved my maternal grandmother deeply. As a child, I often queried her about our traditions: “Mama Taylor, why do we get Christmas gifts?” Each time, she initiated her response asking me what I thought about that. Smiling, she listened to my meandering, childish reply…something to do with us “being so good this year…” Her gentle, clear response was always, “So you can feel what God’s gift of love in Jesus does for us.”
Sixty years hence, I more fully understand her God-inspired wisdom.
We can experience God’s love growing in us through our seen and unseen work for Peace Lutheran’s Elsie’s Food Bank. The deadly scourge of virus and quarantine illustrates how messy, troubled, and frightening the world can be. Nevertheless, God’s love is powerfully at work in the efforts and sacrifices of millions of frontline workers: medical, public service, and transportation workers, military, clergy, farmers, food and shelter providers, childcare givers, and teachers. So much of this critical, life-saving work happens behind the scenes.
A few weeks ago, I whispered to my grocer, “I am grateful that you are here for us.” We shared an air high-five and a tear of love. Recently, our Peace Relaunch Team encountered an early morning visitor at church. He was clearly in distress and hungry. We listened intently, gently questioning, assessing our ability to provide some meaningful assistance. Another Team member knowledgeable about available services made some productive phone calls. Loving collaboration amplified our ideas, resulting in a proper resolution.
Prayer: Loving God, ours is a messy, wonderful, troubled, abundant world. Inspire us to be love… living to ameliorate negative forces and amplify the love within us. Send us forward to relentlessly glorify you in our thoughts and actions. Amen.