Read: 1 John 3:1-24
Centering Verse: See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. (1 John 3:1a)
- What does it mean to you to know that you are a child of God? What difference does that make in your life?
- In what ways are you being called to put the needs of others before your own needs?
- What are some specific ways that you might love others “in truth and action”?
- In what ways have you experienced the Holy Spirit?
I have had the benefit of being raised in a loving family and having a loving family experience as an adult. I recognize what a privilege these realities are and that this has not been true for everyone. I was once told by someone dear to me that he envied my ability to receive the love of God at face value. Having had a more difficult childhood than I had, he could not receive the love of God as easily and he struggled with the image of a wrathful God. My hope for all people is that they might know and accept the love of God for them. Because of God’s love, we can have victory over all the hurts and injustices that have been perpetrated against us. God’s love is stronger than sin and stronger than our scars. So many people are longing for a family that functions in a merciful and giving manner. Our world can be suspicious of such a family, especially when we as Christians do not live into our holy responsibility of practicing goodness toward others. Do not be a hindrance to someone looking for their place within the kinship of God. God loves us so much that he has claimed us for his own. Be the embrace that invites others in and restores both their hope and their faith in the power of divine love.
LORD God, who have created a family out of the many diverse peoples of the world, help us to love those who are different than we are. May we unite with your other children around the world to gather others into your familial embrace. Amen.