Lent is a spiritual rhythm of coming to terms with our humanness. It acts as a reminder to us that from the dust of the earth we have been born and from the dust of the earth we will one day return. It is a reminder that we are human, not God and in that, we have limits.
We learn to grow amidst our limits as we mature and develop in our faith. Within our limits we can still do great work, transform into better people, and make a difference in our world. We can live a good life, we can listen and learn from God and others, we can care deeply and we can embrace what God and others invite us into. But we cannot do all things, be all things, for all people, all the time. Only God can do that.
Last year during Lent I wrote an article about the shooting of Stephan Clark & racial justice. Recently the District Attorney and the Attorney General’s conclusion was that charges should not be filed against the police officers who shot Stephan in his grandmother’s backyard while holding a cell phone in his hand (thought to be a gun by the police) on March 18, 2018. Stephan’s death was a tragedy, and a mistake, he shouldn’t have been killed, but he was and we grieve the loss of his life together.
Since the release of the D.A. & Attorney General reports there have been marches and protests. One of which happened down the street from my home where 84 protestors were arrested in East Sacramento. These included reporters, clergy, protestors and community leaders.
We clearly have a long way to go towards unity and justice for all in our neighborhoods, city, nation and world. Though Sacramento is thought of by most as one of the most racially integrated cities in America, below the surface still exists a lot of tension and segregation. We are still a people who hurt one another, commit violence towards one another, oppress one another, misunderstand one another, hate one another, act unjustly towards one another, talk over one another, and refuse to forgive one another.
This list of “one another’s” reminds me of a different list I want to invite us all to take some time this lenten season to consider. The “one anothers” of scripture hold a striking invitation for how to live. An invitation to embody renewal so that we can write a new story, a new future, a better tomorrow, together.
Read through this list below with God. God is with us, God is for us, God loves us, no matter who we are. Allow the Spirit to highlight areas of our heart and life that do and do not yet reflect these statements. Be self reflective instead of others reflective. Consider our heart and life instead of passing judgement on others. Read this list to live more, not just to learn more.
- Love one another (John 13:34, 35, John 15:12, John 15:17, Romans 12:10, 1 Peter 3:8, 4:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 1 John 3:11, 3:23, 4:7, 4:11, 4:12, 2 John 5)
- Be at peace with one another (Mark 9:50)
- Honor one another above yourself (Romans 12:10)
- Live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16, 1 Peter 3:8)
- Stop passing judgement on one another (Romans 14:13)
- Accept one another just as Christ accepted you (Romans 15:17)
- Have equal concern for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25)
- Serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 4:10)
- Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2)
- Be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2, Colossians 3:13)
- Be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32)
- Forgiving one another, just as Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13)
- Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spirituals (Ephesians 5:19)
- Teach one another (Colossians 3:16, Romans 15:14)
- Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21)
- In humility consider one another as better than yourself (Philippians 2:3, 1 Peter 5:5)
- Do not lie to one another (Colossians 3:9)
- Make your love increase and overflow for one another (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
- Encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 4:18, 5:11, Hebrews 3:13, 10:25, Hebrews 10:24)
- Do not slander one another (James 4:11)
- Don’t grumble against one another (James 5:9, Galatians 5:15)
- Confess your sins to one another (James 5:16)
- Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling (Romans 16:16, 1 Peter 4:9, 1 Peter 5:14, John 13:14, 1 Cor 11:33, 1 Cor 16:20, 2 Cor 13:12)
Let’s take some time during Lent to consider, meditate and live into these “one another” statements. That we might consider how to become more fully renewed people as we learn to love one another deeply from our hearts and with our lives.