Journey to the Cross
Saturday, March 12
Barbara Evans Denkman, member of RPC since 2009
One of them (a Pharisee), an expert in the Law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbors as yourself." - Matthew 22:35-39
When I was in first grade, I came home from school and told my mother about one of my classmates, a boy named Mickey. Mickey constantly had a runny nose and wiped his nose on his sleeve. Mickey was poor, I told my mother. I didn't like sitting behind him because he was not clean. He also had an arm that was funny shaped. I think Mother was horrified that I reacted to Mickey in that way. She told me that rather than avoid being around Mickey, I should share my Kleenex with him, to talk with him, to even sit with him at lunch. She told me not to judge others by how they looked. Mother said that we may have more than Mickey's family, but we were not better than his family. We all are equal in God's eyes for He made each of us in His image.
My faith and values continue to evolve from that early lesson. I love the stories of all that Jesus did while He walked this Earth. He exemplified compassion and inclusive love, not only in deeds but also in his parables. For example, the Good Samaritan teaches us to help others in need.
How fortunate we are to be members of RPC, where we have mission trips to assist in building the faith and homes of others. We reach out to members of our local community through HomeStretch, Family Promise, The Drake House, and numerous other projects. We pray for members of our congregation who are going through a difficult time and offer our love and support. I believe we need to look within our congregation and show compassion, particularly to those who may feel lonely, isolated, even ostracized because he or she is widowed, without a job, is disabled, struggles with depression or addiction, or loves someone of the same sex. Are we not called to love one another? What a wonderful way to honor Jesus as we remember His life and that ultimately He died for us that we may have eternal life.
Our Heavenly Father, please open our hearts and minds to love one another as Jesus taught us to do. Amen