Today’s Bible reading

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother or sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 1 John 4:19

More thoughts for meditation

“The quality of human life on our planet is nothing more than the sum total of our daily interactions with one another. Each time we help, and each time we harm, we have a dramatic impact on our world.” ― Desmond Tutu

One thing Desmond Tutu is faithful to remind us of is that the love we have for each other matters. One of the best things about reaching out to others is that it brings more people into our mission of Christ’s love and healing. Each person, in their smallness, may not be able to make big sweeping changes, but we can make little ones which impact our own neighborhoods and cities. As we saw in the marches last weekend, the power of individuals joining together is strong. As the momentum of the week’s events subsides, let’s be reminded to pray daily for opportunities to serve and respond with compassion.

Those who demonstrate that kind of love almost always have a spiritual practice, and today’s scripture reference reminds us of the cyclical nature in the spiritual life: Loving each other helps us love God, and experiencing God’s love enables us to take care of each other. Let’s make it a point to turn to God for the energy to love, and to love as a way of bringing us close to God. Reaching out to others with compassion is a tangible manifestation of God’s powerful and healing heart.

Suggestions for action

Sit in a quiet room or space. Take several deep breaths. Visualize your neighborhood or community. If various people or issues come to your mind, pray about them. Ask God to provide you with the opportunity to help another person with something today.

All week we will be praying this prayer (an excerpt from Tutu’s An African Prayer Book), sung at the Caribbean Conference of Christians:

The right hand of God is writing in our land,
Writing with power and with love.
Our conflicts and our fears, our triumphs and our tears
Are recorded by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is pointing in our land,
Pointing the way we must go.
So clouded is the way, so easily we stray,
But we’re guided by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is striking in our land,
Striking out at envy, hate and greed.
Our selfishness and lust, our pride and unjust
Are destroyed by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is lifting in our land,
Lifting the fallen one by one.
Each one is known by name, and rescued now from shame,
By the lifting of the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is healing in our land,
Healing broken bodies, minds and souls,
So wondrous is its touch, with love that means so much,
When we’re healed by the right hand of God.

The right hand of God is planting in our land,
Planting seeds of freedom, hope and love,
In these Caribbean lands, let his people all join hands,
And be one with the right hand of God.