But "our own" really need our presence and attention and time more than anything else. And we also need to speak love into "our own", our own families, our own churches, our own communities, our own nation, our own world in ways that make people ask, "Why do you act that way?" -- in a good way.. And since we all have the same amount of time, it makes for a very level playing field. The poor have the same hours in the day as the wealthy and the aged have the same number as the young. And we all appreciate time when it is spent on us.
So as we begin the journey through the holiday season this seems a particularly good time to develop a plan of action.
We can say no to some of the "stuff" in our lives to help provide necessities for others. We can linger when we are talking with those we love and those who need more love in their lives. We can choose to be merciful rather than just when someone cuts us off in traffic or snaps at us at the drive-thru window. We can show our children that their wants are far less important than other's needs and we can do that, not so much by telling as by showing this in the decisions we make for our own families and for ourselves.
Does our church need to be better at this? Advocate for mercy and grace poured out in a way that respects everyone's dignity, even the thick-headed people who don't get the point. Can our family live our values quietly out in the community? Maybe everybody can contribute goods and time to pack comfort bags for the homeless and, if you don't know where to find homeless folks in your area, deliver these bags to an area shelter or outreach, or you might agree on a charity to support to honor parents or grandparents, or their memory. Is there someone excluded from your family gatherings because of past hurts? Maybe you can think of a way to reach out in forgiveness and with a willingness to heal.
We are creative people enduring an age of challenges and uncertainty. What new thing can you do to shine Light and Truth into a dark and fearful world?
See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone. But always seek to do good to one another and to all. Thessalonians 5:15
Almighty God, help me to see you in the face of every person I meet. Make it most clear to see in those I do not love and those I fear, that I may experience Your Love pouring through me according to Your Word in such a way that I can only answer, I act llike that because God loves me. AMEN