Love One Another
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
RESOURCE to READ (also attached below)
LET US PRAY:
O God, you command us through Jesus Christ to love one another. In baptism, we promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves and to strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being. Help us now to honor those vows and pray for our nation in this election season, for wise and just leaders, and for the needs of others throughout our country and the world. We pray for continued blessings on all peacemakers, on leaders who value peace, and on everyone who promotes nonviolent solutions to conflict. We pray for a speedy end to all violence and warfare around the world. God of peace and gentleness, Hear our prayer. We pray for the strength of heart and mind to look beyond ourselves and address the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the world; for the rural and urban poor; for the rebuilding of our communities; and for an end to the cycles of violence that threaten our future. God of generosity and compassion, Hear our prayer. We pray for all nations, that they may live in unity, peace, and concord; and that all people may know justice and enjoy the perfect freedom that only God can give. God of liberty and freedom, Hear our prayer. We pray that the Holy Spirit may embrace the most vulnerable members of our society; we pray also for an end to the growing disparity between the rich and poor; and for the grace and courage to strive for economic justice. God of all gifts and blessings, Hear our prayer. We pray for an end to prejudice throughout our country and the world; that we will respect all people as precious children of God; and that racism, sexism, and all other forms of discrimination will be forever banished from our hearts, our society, and our laws. God of fellowship and equality, Hear our prayer. We pray for a reverence of creation; that we will have the tools and the will to conserve it; that we will use its bountiful resources in the service of others; and that we will become better stewards of all that has been entrusted to us. God of nature and the universe, Hear our prayer. We pray for all immigrants, refugees, and pilgrims from around the world, that they may be welcomed in our midst and be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect. God of outcasts and wanderers, Hear our prayer. We pray for the sick, the aged and the infirm; for those with physical or mental disabilities; that all may have access to proper health care; and that God's loving embrace may be felt by all who suffer. God of comfort and healing, Hear our prayer. We pray for all prisoners and captives; that a spirit of forgiveness may replace vengeance and retribution; and that we, with all the destitute, lonely, and oppressed, may be restored to the fullness of God’s grace. God of absolution and mercy, Hear our prayer. We pray for all children and families, and particularly for the orphaned, neglected, abused, and those who live in fear of violence or disease; that they may be relieved and protected. God of children and families, Hear our prayer. We pray for the reconciliation of all people, and for the Church throughout the world, that it may be an instrument of your healing love. God of outreach and restoration, Hear our prayer. We pray for all who have died as a result of violence, war, disease or famine, especially those who died because of human blindness, neglect, or hardness of heart. God of eternal life and resurrecting love, Hear our prayer. Almighty God, you have promised to hear what we ask in the name of your Son. Watch over our country now and in the days ahead, guide our leaders and all who will vote, guide them in all knowledge and truth and make your ways known among all people. In the passion of debate give them a quiet spirit; in the complexities of the issues give them courageous hearts. Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN. (Source: Episcopal Litany for Social Justice) After reading today’s scripture, prayer, and resource, reflect…
In today’s resource, what do you agree with?
What do you disagree with?
What questions does this devotion bring up for you?
How do you feel God speaking to you through today’s devotion?
Be sure to journal your thoughts. We will have a collective discussion at the end of this 2-week series. If you come across an article or a video link or a prayer that is relevant to this discussion about loving our neighbors, feel free to submit it to me. Thank you!