Dear People of St. David’s,
I pray that you and yours are safe and well and that you are finding good ways to take up a more public life now that the vaccines are here, effective, and more of us have been vaccinated. I feel that it’s going to take some time for us to enter back into the world since we’ve been living differently for so long. It’s been more than 420 days since the shutdowns began and it may be hard to break our habits of isolation and physical distancing to enter back into a more public life.
I’m struggling with this as many of you are, but the re-opening of our public lives has led me to reflect and wonder what kind of life we might want to consider taking up, especially in this year of walking in The Way of Love. Our attitudes and approach to life have such profound effects on us and on the people around us. It’s important, then, to consider who we will be and how we will treat other people because who we are and how we treat others creates a world of loving or a world of loathing.
One of the most attractive qualities of Jesus and His ministry is His commitment and practice of loving others in the way God loves others. Through God’s eyes, Jesus saw everyone as beloved children of God, unique and precious and worthy. And in seeing persons through this lens, Jesus literally created an environment of love around Him that changed His followers and anyone who came into contact with Him. They knew they were loved and were drawn up into this reality. They couldn’t help but share it with others. That’s why we exist as a Church.
True, there were some who rejected Jesus’ invitation and worked against Him. There were some who couldn’t let go of old ways of being, of a lovelessness and enmity that led them to crucify Jesus. Yet even on the cross, Jesus continued to create this environment of love: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do; to one of the others on the cross, Today, you will be with me in paradise, even though the man had done nothing to deserve it.
Our attitude and approach to life matter and create an atmosphere or world around us. Think about a time when you were in love and how everyone and everything around you was touched by that love. People, thoughts, activities were all transformed by that love. Or think of a person or a time when you felt animosity toward another person or yourself and how that created an opposite environment. We have a good bit of power to shape the worlds we live in.
We all have such a capacity for love and for creating an environment and world of love around us. Take a moment and remember how much God loves you. Remember that God loves each person with that same love. Allow that love to seep into all areas of your life and as you return to public life, share that love with others. You’ll see the difference almost immediately.
Grace and Peace and Love,