Daily Bread Oct. 18

Love Is Love!
By Merna Short of Melbourne, Australia

Let no harmful talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  —Ephesians 4:29; 5:2 NRSV, adapted

My husband answered the phone and listened to our gay friend say, “I’ve had to put my partner in a nursing home. He is now too ill for me to care for. When the time comes, would you preside at the memorial service?” Of course the answer was yes. How hard it is to part from those we love!

I helped make a quilt in memory of another gay man and experienced how comforting it was as I worked with his partner’s family. The deceased man’s family had never accepted him. He had been lost to them by their own choice. I felt a great sadness for the people that many of society had rejected.

I once attended a wedding where the bride was a Roman Catholic; the groom was a Protestant. The best man was an Orthodox Jew and the groomsman was gay. These beautiful and diverse friends shared in the joyous preparation for the sacrament of the wedding. God is the God of all creation.

Prayer for Peace

Compassionate God, as disciples of Jesus Christ, help us love one another without conditions, without prejudice, and without hesitation. May we be the heart of Jesus—loving in his stead. May we be the peace of Jesus, reconciling a diverse society.

Spiritual Practice

Meditate on Unity in Diversity. Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle.

Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “challenging” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep us from loving one another.

Peace Covenant

Today, God, I will remember that “Love is love!” —U.S. President Barack Obama, 2015

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