Agape: March 24, 2020

Agape: The 2020 Lenten Devotional for St. Paul's Episcopal Church

“Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” -1 John 3:18

And here we go! On the surface, to love “in truth and action” seems clear enough. But whom are we to love in truth and action? And how? That’s when the monumental implications can strike us with dismay.

The admonition in 1 John follows Christ’s leading – “he laid down his life for us” – and then insists that we too are to love every day, every way, at all times. “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?” (1 John 3:17)

When Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you,” he was pointedly reminding us of what was required in the Torah:

“For the poor will never cease out of the land, therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land. (Deuteronomy 15:11)

We live in a broken world. And should we enjoy “the world’s goods,” we are called to act in love for those who do not. It’s not just about money. We all have something to give to meet the needs in our world. But which needs?

You probably are already doing charitable financial giving and are already working with others to restore the balance, to help lift those who need what you can offer. You cannot fix everything out there that needs fixing. But you cannot excuse yourself from the action of doing your part, either.

Refugees in Syria? Neighbors in Need in Skagit County? Wilderness protection? Research for solutions to diseases? Abandoned pets? Undocumented families in the U.S.? Political action to support the forgotten ones? Earthquake preparedness for your community? Volunteering in schools? Helping out at Friendship House? Habitat for Humanity? Places of refuge for the abused? Foodbank donations? And so much more! You can’t do everything. But you can follow your heart, and in so doing, restore the world.

We pray for God’s leading.
-Tom Worrell