Pastor David’s devotional challenge: February 10, 2021
12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
One of the reasons I love Desert Spring United Methodist Church is our diversity. Our diversity is broad and includes diversity of thought, race, culture, orientation, politics, theology, place of origin and more. In this world, such diversity is often met with fear and hatred. But, at Desert Spring, our diversity is a source of strength and vitality. In addition, our diversity gives witness to what is possible when people choose love over hate, and work toward a “Beloved Community” where all people have a right to life and respect.
During this month, when we celebrate our diversity, it is important to recognize that the health of our diverse congregation doesn’t just “happen.” It takes work, and the commitment of all of us to strive to build relationships with one another. This work is especially important at this time, when temptations to give into fear and hatred abound. A good starting point is to commit ourselves to Jesus teachings: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” These words describe God’s plan for Christian community—a community built upon love and respect, in which all people are valued and accepted as children of God.
During the next 6 weeks, I invite you to join me in a time of prayerful and serious reflection on Jesus teaching, as we think about our church, our community and our witness to the world. As a part of our celebration of diversity, each Wednesday we will be publishing stories and articles written by members or our church. As we read about the experiences of others and their reflections upon the importance of diversity, we will be challenged and encouraged in our own lives. I look forward to reading the stories and articles—I know they will help me grow in my faith and understanding of Christian community.
In addition, each day (beginning today), I invite you to join me in a simple prayer: “God, give me the strength I need to put aside any hatred, fear, or jealousy that might dwell within me, that increasingly my life be defined by you.”
God bless you, and stay well!