During the “Liberating Structures” process to re-imagine the organization of our ministries, the Council identified five “values” they believe sit at the core of our church identity, driving our understanding of the mission of the church.  This week’s devotions will focus on one of these identified values each day.  Be sure to check out the previous devotions on relationship and generosity.

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35

This church embodies Jesus’ commandment to love as we value caring.  This is the posture we take in relationship (another value!) to one another and another way in which belonging to this community is different from the other places we belong.  Caring is at the core of God’s vision and the mission of this church to “love the world.”

Jesus knew how rare it was for people to show love for neighbor in a world that values self above all else.  This was true 2000 years ago and it is certainly still true today.  Part of what makes the church so revolutionary is in its commitment to love and care for others.  This counter-cultural phenomenon should drive us out into the world, seeking the places where love is lacking most and offer a countering story.

Think of the ways in which Prince of Peace expresses this value of caring.  What sort of results do we experience when we affirm for others that they are loved?  How are we changed when we offer our love to others?  How are we changed when we accept the care of another?

Debbie Jorgens will soon begin her ministry among us as our Director for Visitation and Congregation Care.  Her very presence will be a witness to the importance of this value for our community.  But know that she isn’t working with us to tend solely to our needs but also to push us back out into the world, equipped to care for our neighbors as well.  Let’s give thanks for all the ways we’ll be a better church, following Jesus’ command, with Debbie working alongside us.

May God’s peace come to you this day. -Pastor Peter

Let us pray… God of love, your care of this world feeds, nurtures and sustains us.  Open our hearts to see the needs of our neighbor.  Give us the strength to reach out in the same spirit of love to offer comfort and care wherever it is needed.  Amen.