“Loneliness”

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, February 16, 2022 comes to us from Beverly Taylor of Arizona

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34-40 NIV
 

“Loneliness”

Social media has captivated our world. The Internet and wireless communications have created unprecedented global interaction. But in spite of this connection, our society is experiencing a surge of loneliness. In response to this loneliness, there are now programs in large metropolitan areas to encourage socializing. The U.K. even has a “Minister for Loneliness” to combat social isolation and reduce associated health risks. These are new public strategies to battle loneliness, but what is my personal strategy as a Christian?


The obvious one is to love my neighbor as myself. Jesus told us that the greatest commandments are to love God and love others. But this law of love often illuminates my shortcomings. In stores, doctors’ offices, my neighborhood, or other public places, I can easily become self-absorbed and oblivious to those around me – sometimes while on my cell phone. Instead of connecting with those who physically cross my path, I become captivated by virtual connections. I now pray for help to be present in the moment and attentively greet the people around me. Our individual effort to live Jesus’ commandment and ease loneliness in our world can feel insignificant. But when Christians truly seek to love God and love others, we can make a real difference.

 

Friends –

Beverly Taylor’s reflection reminds that hospitality isn’t something that we are called to practice only in our homes or even our church. We can also offer that hospitality wherever we find ourselves with others. No matter how brief, each of our encounters is an opportunity to live out the greatest commandment. Whenever we are with others, we can lift their spirits and share God’s love, no matter how long our encounter lasts.

I invite you to consider moments in your life when you are out-and-about that you can intentionally share a greeting, a smile, or even a helping hand.

--Pastor bea

 
Prayer:

Dear Jesus, help us to live your commandment to love you and to love others. Amen.

--Beverly Taylor


Prayer Focus:

My neighbors


Thought for the Day:

Today I will show God’s love by greeting people I meet.