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Daily Encouragement - October 19

Romans 13:8 “Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

As many of you know, I am a fan of Henri Nouwen. Today I am sharing two quotes from his writing that incorporate Paul’s instructions from Romans

“What makes us human is not our mind but our heart, not our ability to think but our ability to love.”

“Ín a world so torn apart by rivalry, anger, and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.”

It seems like such a simple instruction; to love one another. Yet we are having difficulty seeing that carried out in practice. We know that current events have touched each of us, individually and collectively, with difficulty. Love often seems to be one of the most elusive characteristics of daily living. Yet we all know how important it is supposed to be. Why is it so hard? Do we have to be right? Do we only love those who agree with us? Does taking sides in an argument mean we limit the opportunities to love one another? I would welcome a bunch of heartfelt absolutely nots.

When we feel we’ve been wounded, can that be a time to express that elusive love. Will that make us one of the wounded healers? God provides us lots of chances to show what makes being Christian different from those who are not. When love takes away so much of what destroys relationships and offers reconciliation in its place, the familiar words of a favorite hymn come to life; “They will know that we are Christians by our love.” Let’s stop keeping it a secret!

“Of All the Spirit’s Gifts to Me”

We go in peace, but made aware that,

In a needy world like this,

our clearest purpose is to share,

love, joy, and peace.

May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

—Romans 15:5-6

Pastor David

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