I want to begin this meditation with a passage from the New Testament, 1 Peter 1 :22: “Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart.”
The late musician Duke Ellington said his doctor once told him that the bug disease kills more people than any other disease in the world. It is very important, therefore, not to let anything bug you! The Duke’s doctor wasn’t talking about germs. He was alluding to the tensions of living and our relationships with others.
One of the most destructive stresses of life is hatred. If you let yourself hate the chances are that the one you hate won’t get sick – you will! Loving your neighbor instead of letting him bug you is the very best way to avoid such tension and illness.
Doctors find that Jesus’ admonition to love one another is good sound medical advice. Freedom from the bug disease brings not only a healthy body but also peace of mind, a happy life, and continuous hope.
Memorize this beautiful passage from the Old Testament book of Proverbs: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
Let us pray: Loving God, we acknowledge that life is a mixture of light and dark, ease and difficulty, joy and distress. Today we pray especially for those who now experience the darker side; those who grieve, those who struggle with personal problems, those who feel neglected, those whose lives are touched by illness or despair, those who are tired and scared.
Let the hope that comes from Jesus Christ infuse them with healing, love, strength, and courage. Save us all from the bug disease of hatred, bitterness, and cynicism. Now let the word of joy and hope that is in the gospel ring in our ears with new truth and fervor this day. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.
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