Day 13 - Love for one another and others
Start you day with this prayer
U created me in your image
To be your representative here on earth
I embrace the gifts you gave me
And I vow to use these gifts today
To love You and serve You
To love others and to serve them
Bless us, Lord
Let your will be done.
Use this symbol to lead you in prayer for the day.
We pray for our church leaders and ministers who are comforting their congregations and communities.
May everyone who has this calling remind others that God Triune is still with us, and may they know that God is still near them as well.
Read this reflection on the text for the day.
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you – 1 Thessalonians 3:12.
God’s expectation of Christians is not that we will only love one another. He also expects of us to love all other people – yes, also those who aren’t Christians. In the ancient world the command to love those who aren’t part of your immediate family or tribe was radical. Love was only expressed towards those who were like you and shared your thoughts and interests.
Paul’s command goes further than today’s idea that we should make room for all people by being tolerant. The latter means that everyone is allowed to live independently of one another. Paul asks believers to rather love all people. Not just to tolerate them by creating space for them, but to truly love and serve them. He writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:15b: “Always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” Christians should put the needs of others first, even the needs of non-Christians, and always do what will be good for one another. This is why we reach out to the poor, the ill and the needy, and not just to those who are in our church or our community. The church does not exist for its own purposes, but for the whole world.
Lord, give us the love that is concerned for everyone, not just our own. 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.
What will allow us to grow?
Our relationships with our family at home is almost like a garden. We can choose what we allow to grow in this time. Weeds, like impatience and sarcasm, or plants of love, like listening and support. For our liturgy for life for today we can learn from the plants in our home or, if you’re lucky, the plants in your garden.
Walk in your garden with the people in your home. Look at the weeds growing there that you have to remove. Think about the weeds that grow so quickly in our relationships. Name a few of the “weeds” from the last two weeks that you clearly have to remove from your relationships. Give each person a chance to pull out some weeds and to say, for example, “I want to remove ‘not listening’ from our family garden.”
Talk about which “plants” you can grow that will bring more colour to your relationships. To make it practical, see if you have anything at home that you can plant. If you don’t have any seeds, water a few plants.
And may the Lord let your love for each other grow like these good “plants” grow.
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
Jesus taught us that love works very differently to the other things on the earth. The most things work like this: If you give some of it away, it becomes less. But love will never run out. On the contrary, the more love we give away, the more we grow in love. Jesus reminds us that we should not only love the people close to us, but everyone around us.
When do you feel loved?
Which ways do you show others that they are loved?
Do this simple experiment. Take a piece of paper and draw a heart in each corner. These corners are the love that you can give away. Count how many corners there are. There are 4 corners. Now cut off one corner. This corner is like the love that you can give away. You now gave away one of the love corners. How many are left? Are there really only 3? Count the corners on your page. There aren’t only 3 corners, but 5! This will remind you that you don’t have to take stock of how much love you give, because love doesn’t run out.
Try doing the experiment again with the other corners on your page, and even with the corner that you cut off.
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.
God always provides. He always comes to my rescue. He strengthens my faith in Him.
After an armed robbery I lost everything because I couldn’t work. My school, everything I worked for… Then I found freedom after the court case when the five armed robbers were given jail sentences. I could forgive them and pray for them. I even gave them Bibles.
I started again, rose from the ashes. I helped women who had gone through trauma and were raped. To go through that pain and hurt and worthlessness, that feeling that everyone knows your pain, branding you with eyes that look right through your soul.
And then God came, and taught me about forgiveness. From working with children and rebuilding my school from nothing. Even though the house is a rental and the school is small, I have worth in God’s eyes.
Then came the car accident… and my back operation. I can’t walk or sit or stand for too long. A broken coccyx and feet that ache with pain everyday. But then came God, and He taught me that He gives me strength to continue even when I can’t.
Now the lockdown… and I sit at his feet everyday after cleaning the house, and sometimes I need to lie down at his feet. But I have worth in Christ, I feel whole again. Without Him I am nothing. He is my breath, my life.
– Marlize Raath
God keeps me standing. He lifts me, time and time again, from the black pit. He teaches me to be grateful and that’s what I’m working on at the moment. I can do it with his help.
– Frances Taljard