I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully. I ask for patience, tolerance, compassion, and empathy. I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, and self-importance. I ask to know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly.
1 John 2:7-11
7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard.
8Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.
9Whoever says, ‘I am in the light’, while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness.
10Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling.
11But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.
1) "...beloved;" "...old commandment;" "..from the beginning;" "...the word that you have heard;" "...true in him and in you;" "...the darkness is passing away;" "...the true light is already shining;" "...no cause for stumbling;" "...whoever loves a brother;" "...the darkness has brought on blindness;"
2) I have to wonder if loving a brother or sister entails affection? I'm pretty sure that even here in 1 John, as in Paul's letters, loving one another is more about how we treat each other than about feeling warm fuzzies for one another. It is hard enough to treat one another with dignity and respect some days without the added expectation that we will also feel warm and fuzzy about each other. And then there are those whom it is so easy to love. Thank God for them! I don't think I'm one of them. I'm quite likeable, I'm charming, funny, and intelligent. But I'm too honest and blunt for most people. and once I think I know the truth of something, I'm dogmatic. "...the true light is already shining;" do we believe that? where do we have access to the true light that is already shining? Those people who are easy to love, maybe. Certainly in those people it is hard to love when we still manage to love them!
3) What is the invitation in all this? To be more open to empathy for those hard to love folk.
"Holy One, keep us mindful of the graciousness you show us by loving us even when we are less loveable."
Breathprayer: "the true light... already shining."