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Psalm 111

Praise the LordI will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lordstudied by all who delight in them. Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.  8 They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever. 

And They’ll Know We are Christians By Our Love…

Just this past weekend, I spent time with 50 women from 10 different churches and denominations working through racial reconciliation realities and challenges.  It was a rich time filled with emotion.

Here are a few things I learned from our time together.  First, we need to look up to Jesus for our identity.  Many of us  usually look inward (feelings and emotions) or outward (looks, characteristics and personality).  When we stop looking at where someone came from or what they do for a living and look to Jesus, we begin to realize the union or potential union someone has with Him.  We can love others more easily and spontaneously when we stop looking at someone’s personality, race, nationality, gender, status, and characteristics.

Second, I learned people who say they look past color or simply don’t see race are really missing the big picture.  We need to see color and race and diversity because all these things were intentionally created by God and when God created us, he said it was VERY GOOD.

Third, I was reminded we can’t keep sweeping issues under the rug.  They must be confronted with love and grace and when we disagree, we should never get defensive.  Rather, we should become more curious about the other side and allow our curiosity to drive our desire to learn more about what it is that we are disagreeing upon.

Finally, I was convicted to initiate more friendships with people who are different from me.  I need to invite them into my home and share a meal with them.  Kori Porter, our moderator, reminded us, “meals become disarming situations.”

…And we pray that all unity will one day be restored.  And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.  Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.[1]

[1] Peter Scholtes: They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love, 1968