Kindness will not be forgotten

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Prophetess Anna in the Temple, 1646 or 1650

May I welcome the new year in holy stillness, with the hope and intention each day to be God’s messenger of love, peace, and kindness.

Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another. Colossians 3:12-13a

 

The will to love

We have the power to give birth to love in every moment with our words, actions, attitudes, and behavior. This is God’s will for us. This is God’s vision for our world. This is God’s most precious gift: Love incarnate.

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38

Light witness

Today I will testify to the light of God’s love, compassion, healing, and peace with kind, respectful, nonjudgmental, and nonviolent words, attitudes, and actions.

A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. John 1:6-8

Healing comfort

Faith in God’s love, compassion, and constant, kindly presence empowers me to comfort those who are frightened, ill, lost, homeless, hungry, at risk, angry,  depressed, or in mourning.

Comfort calms and renews hope. It is a gift that heals.

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Isaiah 40:1

When did I see you

Photograph of a Soup Kitchen during the Depression
June 1936
National Archives and Records Administration.
Office of Presidential Libraries.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.

There are no subtexts or hidden agendas with Jesus. He spells out exactly how we are to serve him: by taking care of each other, especially those who are poor or in need.

Who can I help today?

[Jesus said to his disciples,] ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Matthew 25:34b-35

Small matters

John S.C. Abbot and Jacob Abbot
The Parable of the Talents in the Illustrated New Testament, 1878

Bring a can of food to the food pantry. Stop to say hello to a neighbor. Smile at a stranger. Offer my seat to an elderly person. Listen to a family member. Keep company with someone who is ill or dying. Pray. Thank God for my blessings and burdens.

The small things matter. They teach me to see the people around me. They strengthen me to be with those who are suffering. They add up to this great insight and responsibility: We are all God’s children, here to love one another.

[Jesus told his disciples this parable:] “His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.'” Matthew 25:21