Ephesians 4:30-5:1 (NRSV)

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,   

Ephesians 4:32 (NRSV)

32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

DEVOTION – Susie Baker (South Carolina)

My college roommate Ginger and I were inseparable.  We ate meals together, visited each other’s families, told each other our deepest secrets, and went to the same church.

After studying abroad, I decided to visit other churches.  Ginger became distant and unfriendly.  She stated that we could no longer be friends if I went to a different church.  I was hurt, frustrated, and anxious to change her mind.  How could she believe that we could not be friends because we went to different churches?

Months later, I realized that her church was encouraging members to become exclusive.  I was thankful that God led me to leave that church, though I mourned the loss of my friend.  I continued praying for Ginger.  I e-mailed her Bible verses.  I ached for our companionship.

Six years later, I received a message from Ginger.  She was sorry for cutting off our friendship.  She was no longer part of the church I had left and realized that God’s love isn’t limited to one church or congregation.  I forgave her, and I rejoice that we are friends again.  God’s expansive love can inspire us toward forgiveness and reconciliation.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: As God forgave us, let us forgive one another.

PRAYER: Dear God, help us forgive one another.  Reconcile relationships that have been torn apart, and teach us to love as you love.  In Jesus’ holy name we pray.  Amen.