January 20, 2020

Only God Can

January 20, 2020


Romans 12:9-21

This weekend’s reading:Ecclesiastes 3:18


Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. A day we remember a giant of the faith. A day we remember how far the Civil Rights Movement he led moved us forward. And also a day we remember how far we have yet to go in justice and equality for all God’s people.

As I reread this text today, I think about my own faith and life, about how much Jesus has shaped and transformed me, and also about how far I have yet to go.

Martin Luther King, Jr., famously said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Today as we reflect on this text and also on the lift of MLK, let’s remember the power of people and communities putting love and light into action.

Many of us know how to fake it through a day. I know I do. We know how to be polite and appear interested. But God calls us to more than good manners – more than being nice! God calls us to genuine love. To seek justice. To live out the complete, unconditional love of Christ that is deep and real and challenging and complicated.

Let the unconditional love of God direct your words and your actions.


  • What do you think it looks like to show love without pretending (vs. 9)?
  • Who needs your attention today – your full attention?
  • Who do you know who stands as a living example of the kind of faith described in this text?


  • What are special ways you show love in your family (vs. 10)?
  • How can you share that love with people who aren’t in your family?
  • How can we follow the example of Martin Luther King Jr. in our lives today?


God of love, guide my words today. Fill my mouth with kindness and gentleness. Guide my actions today. Mold my actions with peace and justice and patience. Slow me down today and give me the presence to pay attention to people and their needs so that I can be a sign of your light and love to someone today. Amen.