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MAY 31 | ZECHARIAH 7:8-12


 

DAILY READING



 

REFLECTION


The Sin of Partiality

by Diane Ward


During the seventies and the eighties, I lived in Atlanta. It was the time of the flower children. One Sunday morning a large group of hippies walked to the pulpit area and sat down cross-legged. They were not there to protest. They had heard the pastor of this mega church was “hippie friendly.” The congregation was from diverse backgrounds and denominations. Services often went overtime as people sang and worshipped. Often I think of the pastor as he extended the love of God to all without discrimination or judgement.


James minced no words about partiality. He clearly called it sin. Jesus clearly said “Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:40)


Numerous instances of the Gospels show us Jesus’ tender heart toward all in a world of discrimination, hatred, color, and superiority. Jesus broke down the barriers of ethnicity; rich or poor, male, or female, young or old, weak or strong. The Samaritan woman at the well was surprised by a man who acknowledged her, as she was not accustomed to recognition from a man or a Jew.


Most destructively, partiality deals with our hurts and our hearts. I see hurt children in my workplace who have been exposed to partiality. I had come from a loving family where no partiality was shown. My father and my son were tender-hearted toward their children, leaving a legacy of love. As Father’s Day approaches, I am missing them.


“Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)



PRAYER

Heavenly Father make our hearts tender and loving toward others as we are called to love and care for one another. Help us remember the commandment of the law, and most of all the One who came to show us the way. Amen.




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