1 John 3:16-24
The call of discipleship is the call of radical love. It’s a costly call that each of us receive from Christ Jesus when we turn towards Him in faith.
Yet in our age of social media and political liberalism, we must be reminded of John’s words in verse 18, that we aren’t called to love ‘in word or speech’ alone, but also ‘in truth and action’.
As disciples of Jesus, it is essential for us to recognise God’s preferential option for the poor and oppressed, but that is only the beginning of our calling. We must also learn to enact God’s preference in our lives. “For,” as James asks in his New Testament letter, “What good is it if a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food and one of you says to him, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs?” (2:15-16).
For the author of 1 John, it is in our actions, rather than our good intentions or good theology, that we can recognise that God’s love abides in us.
Structural issues of poverty and injustice can be very complicated philosophical and political matters, and we all have different ideas of how to best address them. And we must give much time, thought, and energy in this God-honouring work. But, for John, the question that will always hit a little closer to home is, how are we, who have the ‘world’s goods’, going to respond when we are going about our business and see someone who is in need?
Sisters and brothers, let us not separate what God has brought together. Let us not separate our faith in Christ Jesus from our spirit-empowered love for one another. Rather, let us grow in our faith and in our love. The Christ that we are called to put our trust in fully (v. 23) is the same Christ that laid down His life for others, so that we might do the same for one another (v. 16).
-Corey Hampton, Presbyterian Church of Wales
God of glory and grace, we thank you this day for your great love for the world. Empower us to see the world through the tenderness of your eyes, so that we might reflect your radical love and generosity into the world. Amen.
Church of North India
On 29th Nov. 2021, the Church of North India celebrates 51 years of God’s faithfulness as a united and uniting church. Pray that CNI would continue to effectively further God’s mission through unity, witness and service.
A significant section of Indian society could possibly be categorised as minorities (religious, ethnic and gender-based, etc.), as vulnerable (women and children) and as marginalised (Dalits, tribals and the poor). Pray that those in authority and the stakeholders, including the church, would always protect and uphold the rights of the last and the least.
India was one among the pioneering countries to develop the National Mental Health Programme in 1980. Since then, India has come a long way in prioritising mental health, especially through the National Mental Healthcare Act 2017. Yet, due to poor awareness and limited resources, the mentally ill are deprived of appropriate care. Pray that the state would intensify the efforts for better mental healthcare facilities and that society may become sensitive to mental health issues.