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40 Days of Prayer – Day 16: Gathered in Community

As A People Who Love One Another

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they thought of a way to outfox him (Matthew 22:34-40). They asked him to name the “greatest” commandment and he told them it was love—love for God, love for neighbor, and for self. This definition covers the wide spectrum of those we must love, for love of neighbor means love of all dwellers on earth.

We have the examples of the unselfishness of the Good Samaritan, as told in Luke 10:25-37, and of the early Christians, as told in Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:32-37. There is the example of our own John Woolman, who gave us this challenge: “Let us then try what love can do.” And the example of Mother Teresa in more modern times. These can serve as inspiration for all of us.

Psychologist Erich Fromm wrote that love is not a feeling but a practice requiring actions to support our decision to care for one another. Let us resolve to not merely feel sympathy for suffering humanity, but to do something about it.

Because Mary of Bethany loved Jesus she poured expensive perfume over his head. Jesus responded to her critics by saying, “She has done a beautiful thing to me… She did what she could” (Mark 14:6,8). We do not need to do things on a big scale—just little bits of good, whatever we can do, each day for those we meet.

Bevar Errington Moodie

Query for Reflection

If I don’t love myself, how can I love my neighbors? If I don’t love my neighbors, how can I love myself?

Action Step

As you go about your daily business, endeavor to demonstrate love and concern for everyone with whom you cross paths.

Prayer Focus

God, we draw strength from your words: “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35, NLT)

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