Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:12-14)
The call to love one another seems to permeate the letters of the New Testament, and this call reminds us of the words of Jesus: "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35) The beauty of the church is that it gathers so many different types of people. In Colossians, people came from all kinds of religious and socio-economic backgrounds. The cross levels all that, and offers the chance to start afresh, in gospel community. The more we see ourselves as beloved by God in Christ, and forgiven, the more we have the incentive and power to offer that love to others in the new community.
- Pray that the "hosting environment" at LBC will continue strong, so that newcomers will always feel a genuine welcome.
- Pray for children as they come into SPLASH, and for youth as they check out our youth group. Pray that they will form joyful friendships.
- We've seen that small groups offer, for many people, a place to be known and loved. Pray that this will continue and increase.
- Praise God for the way that our congregation tends to rally when someone is hurting or in crisis. We don't yet know of new challenges some might face in the months ahead. Pray that those who hurt will find care.
- Inevitably, and often unintended, hurts and friction and misunderstanding can arise in relationships. Pray that forgiveness, love, and grace will be the norm.
- Today, are you finding it difficult to forgive someone, to let go of the hurt? Pray for grace to forgive, in light of how we have been forgiven by God.