By: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
I Thessalonians 3:9-13
Reflection—v. 12, ‘Abound in love for one another and for all’
Paul tells the early Christians in Thessaly to ‘abound in love for another’—oh, yes, and
abound in love for everyone else, as well. We cannot just love one another: those of our
same political parties or upbringing, those with our same skin color or religious background, those who happened to be born within the same borders as us. Yes, love those people, but also abound in love for everyone else. This is no small feat. Let us not forget that the early Christians were outsiders. They were marginalized and sometimes unwanted. Yet though they were the ones persecuted, Paul reminds them that to be Christian is to abound in love for ‘all’ anyway. We can be so good at loving our own. We gather together and talk and preach about loving everyone, but what we practice is a comfortable, complacent love for those closest to us. But part of what makes being a Christian so absurdly revolutionary is that we are also called upon to love all, even those most difficult to love. We are called to love those not born on American soil. We are called to love our political opponent. We are called to love the most vulnerable among us, the most unsettling, the most disturbing. We are called to love them with a deep and abiding love that cares for their needs even as it asks of us to share our own resources, to push our own patience, to open our own doors, and to be open to our own vulnerability.
Prayer: Open our hearts, O Lord, that we may abound in love for all those among us.