Catherine Costello: Tis the season
It seems as if Christmas was yesterday and still ages ago. I miss all the cheerful joy and anticipation of the season with everyone trying so hard to be loving. Still, nothing should last forever. We’d get tired of it, bored, ho hum. Oh, but there is always the next season, a new holiday just around the corner — like Ground Hog Day, no presents to buy, who cares if you send a card and I so love the promise of spring. Then Valentine’s Day, yes love is in the air. So many wonderful opportunities to say I love you. Easter, the ultimate celebration of love, God’s love for us through the love of Christ.
Love, it is all around us. Memorial Day… time to remember those we loved; those that sacrificed for love of country. The Fourth of July, definitely love of freedom. Sure, some of our holidays are patriotic, some are just for fun, others remind us of what is important and then there are those holidays where we profess our faith, and in each is thread of love. In all the Hallmark holidays and the “national day of ___,” even the silly ones like national hot dog day, we celebrate, we honor and we remember the things in our lives that give us meaning as we weave our love into a cloth, wrapping ourselves in its warmth.
Jesus told us to love others as ourselves. Not just the people that are loveable, that’s easy. But the ones that are unlovable: angry people, mean or ugly or scary, the bitter folks and the broken ones. Jesus says love them. Love them until they are healed and made whole. He says, love your enemy; pray for those who hate you.
What Jesus is telling us is to invest our time and our emotions in the people we would rather not. It doesn’t seem right. Pray for your enemy… and I don’t think praying for God to send his wrath upon them is what Jesus meant! No, pray for God to bless them, to comfort them, to love them.
What if you prayed for your neighbor, or someone at work; someone you don’t like and would rather avoid? What would happen if everyday you prayed for God to open your heart, so you could love them? What if you prayed for their life to be easier, for them to have more money, more friends, more happiness? Every day you pray. What would happen?
Love your enemies and they are no longer an enemy. Love your neighbor and your neighbor becomes your friend.
Ah yes, love is in the air!
Love is the breath we take, the song we sing, the prayer we lift, the hug we give, the work we do, the one we come home to.
Let us celebrate every season of love, always remembering that love has no fear. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or angry. Love never gives up, never loses faith, it is always hopeful, and always endures. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
So live, love and be a blessing to everyone. Love is the power of God, your power to do great things.
Catherine Costello is pastor at Ursinus UCC, Rockwell