December 18: Practicing the Way of Love
Practicing the Way of Love
In this holiday season, we often find ourselves attending social gatherings with colleagues, friends, family, and neighbors whom we may find “challenging.” Practicing the way of love sometimes feels like we should swallow our frustration and annoyance, or steer clear of certain topics of conversation for the sake of maintaining harmony and civility. But is that truly practicing the way of love, or is it simply avoidance?
Our Baptismal Covenant asks whether we will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves, to which we answer, “I will with God’s help.” While many people of faith profess the desire to love our neighbors as ourselves, how are we defining who qualifies as a “neighbor?” Are we seeking and serving Christ in all persons, including those folks whom we find so challenging? How might our family and neighborhood gatherings be transformed if instead of avoiding those with whom we differ or disagree, we embraced them fully as our sisters and brothers in Christ, as worthy of love and forgiveness as we are?
Practicing the way of love gets at the very heart of what it means to be Christian, and to enter into the work of becoming beloved community. How can your practice of love move from avoidance into deeper and fuller relationships with others?