“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:3, 13
The headlines are full of stories about violence, tragedy, and suffering. Storms, cancer rates, mass shootings — it might feel impossible to believe that God can work in the midst of these tragedies. How can anything good come from something so horrible, we ask. As followers of Christ, these are the dark places into which we are called.
We are called to go to our neighbor who just lost her husband and is now a single mom; we are called to go to the marginalized groups who feel vulnerable, targeted and afraid; we are called to go to our estranged brother who just got diagnosed with cancer; we are called to go to the homeless camp on the edge of town.
But we aren’t called to go into the darkness alone; we are to carry Christ’s love with us, and lavish it on those who are suffering and in need. Good can come out of a community’s pain, out of a family’s grief, out of a person’s despair when the love of God moves His people to love and to serve them.
Without God’s love, we question whether it is worth it to go to the unsavory side of town; we wonder if new immigrants really care if we make the effort to visit them; we second guess whether we should bother picking up the phone to call our elderly neighbor.
With God’s love, we don’t ask, “Is it worth it?” but rather proclaim, “He is worth it!”
God, please fill me with faith to trust that You are good, hope to believe that You are working all things out for the good of those who love You, and the love of Christ, which moves me to be Your hands and feet to serve those in need. Amen.
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