The February 3rd Congregational Breakfast will be hosted by members of the
Ruth Circle. Breakfast casseroles, quiches, breakfast breads, muffins, coffee cakes,
etc. will be served. Proceeds will be donated to the campership fund. Please attend
and enjoy great food and fellowship and help send our kids to Rainbow Trail Lutheran
Ruth Circle meets February 13th at 10 a.m. for session two of the study “We Are
Called!” This lesson is entitled “Disciples of Christ” and will help us to: reflect on the
meaning of discipleship as a response to the transformative power of the call of Jesus,
to understand the relationship between discipleship and apostleship (being sent) and
to see ourselves as people who have been called personally by Jesus. We continue to
collect cereal for Mercy Today Ministries’ food pantry. All women of SOTH and their
friends are welcome. Hope to see you there!
Registration for the 2020 Triennial Gathering of Women of the ELCA in Phoenix,
AZ, July 16 – 19 is open. The Gathering brings Lutheran women together from across
the church with life-changing workshops, worship, Bible study and more. The 11th Triennial
Gathering will be no exception. Women will gather in Phoenix under the theme
“Just Love”. Register online and learn more at welcatg.org or email women.
email@example.com for a registration form. Registration is $375. Day registration is
Steward your life: Cultivate a heart of love
Jesus taught, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate
your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute
you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” –Matthew 5:43-44
Red hearts, flowers and chocolates remind us that February is the uncontested month
of love. It’s excellent (and easy) to love those close to us, but Jesus tells us to go wider,
deeper, riskier – to love even our enemies. In so doing, Jesus says, we become
children of God. This challenges us to embrace love as the key discipline and develop
a heart so full of love that it flows to even our enemies. Isn’t that how we’re supposed
to live as disciples? It’s just good stewardship of our lives.
For this “month of love,” practice loving your enemies. The effort is especially timely in
our season of discord, when our loudest voices encourage us – through name-calling,
denigrating, lying, smearing – to hate those with whom we disagree. Even calling them
“enemies” is too much (they’re really neighbors!).
Loving our “enemies” doesn’t mean we agree with them or tolerate bad behavior. It
means respecting, listening, discussing, refraining from anger and revenge. Here are
some ideas for loving our enemies:
Jesus gives us the first step: Pray! For them and for you!
Stop seeing them as enemies. They’re our neighbors whom God loves.
Resist hate, the very thing our culture encourages.
Treat everyone as you would want to be treated.
Lastly, keep praying.
By embracing love as a spiritual discipline, we cultivate a heart of love that opens our
lives to the transformation Jesus dearly desires for us -- to be children of God. Now
that’s good stewardship.
Copyright © 2020, Rev. Robert Blezard - assistant to the bishop of the Lower Susquehanna
Synod ELCA and works as content editor for www.stewardshipoflife.org. He
blogs at www.thestewardshipguy.com.