Across the Pastor’s Desk: It’s our duty to love our neighbors
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Randy Cirksena
“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ He said to him a second time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.’ (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’” (John 21)
We are in the midst of one of the most interesting times in the history of the country: a pandemic, a fighting economy pulling back from the brink of depression, social unrest for a variety of reasons, a pending Supreme Court justice selection process, a presidential campaign coming to an end and a looming election process. Wow, if someone would have told me that at one time in my life all of these things would converge, I would have been skeptical.
So, how are we to try to make a way through all of this? We are simply to ask for help from the Almighty to help make the way for us, and to use us. So, how does the Almighty want to use us? The Scriptures remind us that our greatest duty or opportunity is to love and care for our neighbors as we would ourselves.
This is evidenced in the words we have just read.
One additional opportunity is for us who live in the democratic republic here in the United States of America to get out and vote this next week. It is one of the ways that we may express our love for the Almighty, those around us and for the country in which we live. Let us be encouraged that the best has yet to be for us, for our families and for the country — and to get out and vote.
Lord, thank you for our lives. Help us to make the best of the rest of every day of our lives. In so doing, use us to reflect your great love. Bless our country and its leadership to glorify you. Amen
Randy Cirksena is a pastor at Ellendale United Methodist Church.