Love: Adapted from I Peter 4:7-11. Dear Lord, I ask to be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer in order to keep an open link with You. Above all keep me fervent in my love for others, because Your love covers a multitude of sins. Help me to be hospitable to others without complaint. Help me to recognize and acknowledge that each one has received a special gift and help me to encourage others to employ their gift in serving one another so that all will be good stewards of Your manifold grace. I pray that when I speak, let me speak utterances pleasing to You; when I serve, let me do so by the strength that You supply, so that in all things You may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Today’s focus word is love. Our English language is limited when it come to this word. Synonyms like desire, adoration, affection, or being kind hardly approach what it means to love. As we begin Week 4 of Lent we are considering what it meant for Mary, the mother of Jesus, to see the unjust judgment and execution of her Son. The grief she felt was magnified by the grief Jesus must have endured watching her suffer. When I read Peter’s statement: “Your love covers a multitude of sins.” I wonder if we truly understand that this sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross was meant to show us the depth of God’s love. We think we love, yet, how easy is it for our love to turn sour if someone disappoints, deserts, or deceives us.
When a husband who suffered with his wife through a long and brutal battle with cancer described his pain to me, he wept. Then he confessed that their marriage had been a blessing, and he was thankful for their time together. He understood that the pain he was feeling reflected the depth of their love. Can we ask God for the grace to love as God loves us, for the words to say when we suffer or when we walk with someone who is suffering, and for the ability to praise and honor God’s love on this earth as in heaven?
(This morning I am going to talk with my nephew about our web site. I am praying I can get it up and running. The reflections I am getting need to be shared.)