The Word is Love
Last year our church encouraged us to pick one word to focus on for the year. My word was “rest.” With COVID, that word came true for me. I didn’t do nearly as much work for the church since we didn’t have in person services most of the year. My brain got a rest from my normal job as I was reassigned to a job that required little hard thinking. Lower finances meant fewer projects around the house. Yeah, I got a little more rest.
Then there was that guy whose word was “gather.”
That didn’t work out so well with COVID.
This year I made no plans to pick a word. I could have chosen “discipline” as I have been getting pretty good at exercising every day. I could have chosen “organize” as I’ve made my man-cave/writing corner much less cluttered. Maybe “budget” would be good as we are going to need to get diligent about that this year.
I chose not to choose.
I went for a good walk at lunchtime. My earbuds blasted some good music while I power walked down a paved path next to a frozen wetland area and stark winter trees.
I prayed as I walked, lifting several people up in prayer. For one person, I asked the Lord what I should do. The answer was immediate. “Love them.”
If someone was watching me, they probably would have been amused at my expression. It said something between “Duh!” and “Huh?”
I marched on and discussed with the Lord what that means. I knew it should apply to everyone and not just that one person. What does it mean to truly love people?
The question haunted me the rest of the day. How do I show love to that person who just cut me off in traffic? Am I supposed to show love to my customers? What does that look like?
Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:37-40 kept invading my thoughts. He said that the greatest commandment was to love God. The second greatest was to love your neighbor as yourself. In Luke 10, he defines “neighbor” through the parable of the Good Samaritan. He cast a very broad net with that story. Basically, everyone who comes across your path.
This thought process has ignited a desire to explore what it means to truly love. Plans are forming in my mind to explore that word – in the Bible, in practical actions, in the words I write.
Feel free to join me in this process. Add your thoughts. Direct my studies with your questions. Share your own studies and stories.
So, maybe I do have a word for the year. The word is LOVE!
P.S. – Look for another blog here in a week (or two) as I begin to share what I find. Feel free to bug me if I take too long.