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"Enjoying the Ride Together"

Read Romans 13:8-10.
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no
wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the
Law. Romans 13:9B-10

I'm sure my parents would have loved a video or DVD
player in our station wagon when I was a kid. Instead,
they had five boys sitting in the middle and back benches
as we headed down the road to Grandma's. Sometimes
we'd sing songs to pass the time or play little games
along the road, but usually we played the stop-touching-
me or stay-on-your-side-of-the-seat game. Of course, that
was about the time Dad threatened to turn the car around
and head back home.

In our church family, we often act like brothers and sisters
squeezed together in a car. We bicker and fight with each
other; we complain about the most insignificant things; we
insist on our way and pout when we don't get it. Meanwhile,
our unchurched family, friends, and neighbors wonder why
anyone would ever want to be a part of family like that. How
many times do we make our heavenward journey miserable
for everyone, wondering if it would be better to go it alone?

That's where Jesus shows the way. When His disciples
argued about which of them would be the greatest or tried to
get the best seats in heaven, Jesus showed them His humility
and restored their unity. Even when the religious establishment
-- the Jewish leaders -- misjudged Him, plotted His death, and
stood by His cross heaping their scorn on Him, Jesus was
quick to pray, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what
they do" (Luke 23:34b). And through His suffering and death
at their hands, Jesus won our full pardon from His Father in

In this week's Epistle reading, Paul shows us another way to
travel together. He calls us to remember Christ's sufferings and
death for us, and to strive to live as our Savior did -- loving our
neighbor as ourselves.

As we make our journey toward the house of the Lord, we are
not traveling alone. We are part of a caravan, a multitude of
wonderful believers traveling along together, each guided by
Christ up to God's house. God has chosen every one of us.
He has gathered us together to use our unique skills and
talents as one body. If we travel together in joy and peace,
learning to appreciate one another, our journey will be so
much more thrilling, and we'll be the kind of caravan other
people will want to join. God grant us this peace and
harmony for Jesus' sake.


Father in heaven, open our hearts to truly love and forgive
each other. Grant us a deep appreciation for each other,
that combining our gifts and talents, we may bring glory to
Your Name, and bring many to join us in heaven. Through
Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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