The Bridge to Love

by Lisa Allgood, Executive Presbyter

“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”                                                                                                                                                     – John 13:34

Love. The stuff of country songs and operas, Hallmark cards and holidays, 5 languages; presents, jewelry, gifting.  Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels (thank you Joni Mitchell). Right…? Well, maybe the way we’ve been taught to approach it.

Oh, there are all kinds of pithy sayings to describe love in the secular dimension.  But (without going into all the Greek versions and what they mean – you’ve all heard those before) that’s not what Jesus intended.

I think He meant:

  • The way we respect each other and the unique gifts we’ve each been given.
  • The way we steward and respect His creation.
  • The way we affirm each other, rather than compete with each other or tear each other down.
  • The way we gently re-direct each other when one strays.
  • The way we seek and define (or re-define) justice.  My favorite Cornel West quote: “Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.”
  • The way we feed and clothe and provide for the left out, without expecting anything in return – or even without letting anyone know that we have done so. 
  • The way we include others – all others.  All those God loves – which is everybody. No exceptions. None. The way we include them in our worship, in our lives, in our prayers, in all of the above.
  • The way we are to live.

Bridges to love are really bridges to each other which are bridges to Him.  The bridges we build between each other connect us in and to the mystery of His creation.  Bridges unite us in manifestation of His commandment. What could our world be if this is the way we lived…?

In 2023 we’ll explore the metaphor of bridges.  Where are you seeing them – building them – walking them?  Where are they connecting your ministry to your congregation, your community, to the Kingdom – to the King?

The Presbytery of Cincinnati loves you.  Let us build a bridge to the future together – with much love. Praying blessings on your ministries in 2023!

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