Patricia Magyar, Chaplain, UMOM New Day Center Chair and Chair of 2021 Desert Southwest Conference Task Force on Children and Poverty
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4: 8-10
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Don’t ever compromise your high ideals. You need not; you must not.” Virginia Calvin Piper (on the wall at UMOM New Day Center)
The scripture verse tells us to speak up in love. Martin Luther King reminds us that it is misguided to sit silently and not seek to bring God’s love to others. Virginia Piper challenges us to take the high road of our ideals and never compromise.
In 1 Peter, Christ asks us to work hard at loving each other. Just as an athlete works earnestly and fervently to win a race, we are asked to do the same. A follower of Christ must make demonstrating the love of Jesus to others his or her first priority, especially during these times of social unrest and upheaval. Martin Luther King reminds us that sitting on the sidelines silently is an act of ignoring the very love that God commands of us.
We are asked to grow in our love for God and others. It is important to pray regularly and reach out to others in need. Our possessions, status and power will mean nothing in God’s Kingdom thus we must invest our time and talents where it will make an eternal difference.
How do we show this unconditional love that God asks of us?
It can be found in the theme of the month: Seek always to bring God’s love to those in need.
1. Seek out those in need, your neighbor, a homeless person, a troubled friend and learn more about them. Listen to them and lend an ear or hand. Begin to understand what it is to be homeless and/or powerless; and then change your behavior toward them accordingly. Open your heart and mind to them. Show acceptance and validation not judgment toward them.
2. Show your love by your actions to those that might not seem lovable: for example, a person in dirty clothes, one that is saying unkind things, one that has different beliefs than you.
3. Give unconditional love and set aside your own desires and instincts, putting selfishness away.
4. Think of someone that you do not like and find God in them to show that love.
5. You observe a situation of a person that needs help with employment and some guidance. They do not dress or look like you. You assume that their attitude portrayed is not receptive to help or mentoring. Thus, you decide to ignore them. Why? How can you change your behavior? Case study:
6. You are in Mexico and serving with a mission team. In the evening you find that your sleeping accommodations will be on the dirt floor with an outhouse in the back. There is no running water but a large bucket of water to clean off quickly. How do you adjust and receive these accommodations from the family graciously and openly showing them the love of God?
7. Write a prayer that helps each of us to be humble, nonjudgmental and to seek justice for all.
“Let us bring the love of God into all of our world every moment of the day.”
- Download this graphic at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Helping_the_homeless.jpg
- Find additional December devotionals at https://dscumc.org/blog/2020/12/01/where-love-lives-december-resources/
- Find other resources like this for #WhereLoveLivesUMC at https://dscumc.org/where-love-lives