Day 1 – Love one another
Start you day with this prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
as You are one with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
so are You with each one of us.
We profess and declare our deep and all-encompassing unity with you.
Let your will be done.
Use this symbol to lead you in prayer for the day.
Create a prayer station where you can pray for the day. Place the symbol of the day next to the candle to remind you of who you can pray for today.
Symbol: A plaster
We thank those who have been trained and have the knowledge and skills to care for the ill during a pandemic.
Read this reflection on the text for the day.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God – 1 John 4:7.
The legend is told of someone who visited heaven and hell. In both places there were tables prepared with the most delicious food. The problem, however, was that the only things available in heaven and hell to eat with were spoons longer than the average human’s arm. Therefore, nobody could get the food to their own mouths to enjoy it. In heaven everyone was fed and satisfied, but in hell everyone was miserable and starving. Why? Because in heaven those around the tables fed one another.
This legend expresses one of the most important characteristics of the Christian life, and that is that we do not live for ourselves. However, we also do not only live for the sake of others, for we can serve others without enjoying a genuine relationship with them. The essence of the Christian faith is that we should live in a genuine loving relationship with one another. And a relationship implies the ability to give love and to receive love. On each of the next few days we will pause at one aspect of this reciprocity of our faith by reading together the different “one another” commands in the New Testament.
Father, teach me to serve others in love. Help me to also accept the love of others. Amen.
Isaac’s Soap Opera
Watch this video with your children
Liturgy for life
See the ordinary things you do in and around the house as signs of God’s care.
Love one another, for who loves, is a child of God
In this time of great uncertainty there is one thing we can know for sure … in the next 21 days we will spend a lot of time with the people living with us. This may give us the time to create new habits in our homes, enabling us to see and experience God more in the ordinary. Tish Harrison Warren wrote, “We are shaped every day, whether we know it or not, by practices – rituals and liturgies that make us who we are. We receive these practices – which are often rote – not only from the church or the Scriptures, but from the culture … The question is, What kind of Christian is our liturgy forming us to be?” By establishing new practices or habits (what Harrison Warren calls a “Liturgy for life”) we can strengthen our relationship with God and others.
Our time in quarantine will give you and your household many opportunities to eat together. Eating together can be heavenly … or it can be very unpleasant. By approaching these ordinary daily habits in a new way, you and the people in your house can serve one another with your presence and support and in this way fulfil Jesus’ command.
There is a saying that goes like this, “The tongue is longer than the arm.” This means it is easier to ask someone to pass you something instead of stretching your arm to try to reach it yourself. Start these 21 days of quarantine around the table. Sit as far as possible from one another, depending on the size of the table. Put everything you want to eat on small plates and place them all around the table so that you will have to ask the others to pass you some of the food you want to eat. Ask the people in your house how you can help one another in this time of isolation. What do you need now from the people sharing your living space? Write down these requests and put it on the fridge for everyone to see.
We will need one another to survive in these times. Let us, therefore, acknowledge our dependence on God and on one another.
Play with your children.
Wow! 21 Days of isolation. 21 Days in which we’re only allowed to be in our homes (or gardens) and can only go out for the most essential things like food and medicine. It can be a little rough! All the things we usually do during the day, like school, sport, church … are not happening anymore. It can really confuse you and maybe even bore you a little. These daily readings will help you to spend some time with Jesus every day in a creative and fun way. You can do these readings and activities by yourself, with your siblings, or with your entire family. Ask one of the grownups to post your activity on Facebook so that others can enjoy it with you. Tag it with #solitudecalendar #churchtogether
God’s story with humankind starts with love. Throughout the entire Bible we see how God loves us. Love is like God’s signature for, as we read in 1 John 4:7, love comes from God. And now Jesus sends us, his representatives, to love others as well.
What does love mean to you?
How can you love other people during isolation?
The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise and hope for us. (Where in the Bible do we read about a rainbow?) During the Covid-19 era, people across the world are putting up rainbows in their windows so that others can see them and remember that we love each other and are thinking of each other in this time.
If you feel like another activity, design a sign or a crest for your home, kind of like your school’s crest. Invite everyone in your home to help. Make sure that the command “we must love each other” is visible somewhere on your crest so that it will remind you that love is God’s signature.
Colour and reflect (Instructions are available under the picture)
• Choose your art materials such as coloured pencils, coloured pens and koki pens. Any of these will work.
• Colour in the picture and do the activity.
• Choose no more than five colours. If you’re unsure of which colours to use, take out all the colours and put them on the table. Close your eyes and pick up five.
• It may be easier for you to first start colouring the edges and not big blank spaces.
• Don’t stop halfway, especially if your reason for stopping is that you think your picture isn’t pretty. This is the purpose of the activity – to get your attention away from unnecessary thoughts like, “Am I doing this right?” and to focus on the people that you love.
• When you’ve finished colouring the picture, put the picture in a prominent place in your house, like your bedroom or in the kitchen.
Consider sharing your picture on social media with the hashtags #solitudecalendar #churchtogether
Thank you’s and testimonies
Share your testimony with us! Use the online form below.
Leonard Cohen, the legendary Canadian poet and musician, sings in his song “Anthem” (1992):
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
Cohen explains in an interview that nothing is perfect. Not your relationships, not your work, not your love for God, your love for your family or your love for your country. Nothing. “Life is imperfect.”
There is a crack in everything. “But that’s how the light gets in, and that’s where the resurrection is.”
In dire times it’s important that we show each other where the Light comes through. Where the resurrection takes place. Where God moves amidst anxiety and uncertainty.
We invite you to write about all the things you’re grateful for today.
Maybe you would like to share with us your testimony of how God has cared for you. We will share it on the next day’s page as a testimony of God’s goodness during a time of uncertainty.
Stories are verbal acts of hospitality.