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40 Days of Prayer – Day 23: Gathered in Community

As A People Who Do What Jesus Commands

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you. (John 15:12-16, emphasis added)

The noted anthropologist Margaret Mead was once asked what she considered to be the hallmark of civilization. Her response was not a noted artifact, nor an established discovery. Her answer was, “A healed femur.” A broken leg allowed to heal bespeaks a compassionate community where responsibilities are shared and time for growth occurs. We take on each others’ burdens and tend to one another. Jesus commands us to love each other; he calls us “friends.” We are no longer only serving God, we are befriended by God and entrusted with God’s work: to heal the sick, to feed the hungry, to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable.

God’s mercy, love, and compassion are the hallmarks of our civilization; our breaks and rifts need time to heal and new growth needs to set in. While we may differ in matters of doctrine and authority, we know we are all called to be friends of God in this time, to take on each others’ burdens, and tend to each other. In a community where we are all called to witness to the love of God through our daily actions, what fruit do we bear?

Leslie Manning

Query for Reflection

How does my life reflect having been chosen as a friend of God?

Action Step

Show love to all of God’s people.

Prayer Focus

Help us be a compassionate community, showing mercy and kindness, giving space for healing, and bearing one another’s burdens.

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