Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.— 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
It’s hard to find love in our world these days.
As I reflect on the events both in our country and beyond, from the impeachment inquiry to Turkey’s invasion to Trump’s rally in Minneapolis, I am struck by one underlying thread– people on all sides are upset with one another. And with our constant barrage of media coverage, it’s hard to find peace. It’s hard to hear words of kindness. It’s hard to see a path through the darkness. Whom do we trust? Which way do we turn? To whom do we listen to? And who will get us out of this mess?
As uncertainty, division, and strife raise their ugly heads on a daily basis, I am convinced of one thing: we are tempted to sink in a culture of hatred. It has become normalized, it has become a way of life for some.
We can sink our heads in the sand like an ostrich and try to avoid it. We can distract ourselves with TV and Netflix and Facebook and shopping and wrap ourselves in our cozy lives of excess, but ultimately, hatred can come knocking at our very own door… there’s a co-worker that is different from us, there’s a neighbor we dislike, there’s a city we can’t stand, there’s a political party that grates on our nerves, there’s a government leader or official that we abhor… and pretty soon, we ourselves, have wandered down that path of resentment. And it’s not a pretty path. It can become poisonous and treacherous. And it leads us to nowhere good.
It seems this culture fans the flames of resentments, we are told to think of ourselves, to speak our minds, to climb to the top, to protest and put down others and fight and scream for what we think. But few are the messages that tell us to find peace, to hope, to love others, to be kind, and to do good.
I was moved today by a message from Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The very man who has been in Twitter skirmishes with the Trump campaign over payment of rally costs shared his proclamation and named October 10 the day of “Love Trumps Hate”. See the link on Kare11 for his full proclamation: https://www.kare11.com/article/news/politics/mayor-frey-declares-love-trumps-hate-day-in-mpls/89-e68b5c9e-044a-4e90-8833-e5f7814a7a64
As this mayor defined his city, I found he also pointed in a positive direction– love trumps hate. Isn’t that the truth? Love will always win. Love will loosen hatred’s power. Love will always persevere. Love will never end. Words we need to hear…
Though the words in 1 Corinthians may seem just like words to us, when they work in our lives there is transformation. There is something we can do: We can pray for our enemies and those we despise. Jesus tells us to do it. (Matthew 5:43-45a–“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven”). We can also look towards God. He provides the cure— His hope, His peace, His salvation, His mercy. His love. And God’s love can change everything.
Today I choose prayer. And I choose God to rule in my heart. I choose to pray for our nation and world. I choose love. How about you?
Prayer– “God of love, come to my heart and my life. Restore me to trust in Your power, Your reserves of love, and Your peace. Equip me to share that love with others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”