John 13:34 – I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. (NRSV)
It happened in Nova Scotia during the summer of 1949. The Presbyterian Sunday School children in Orangedale, on Cape Breton Island, were taking part in a Church Service. My wife Jean and I would have forgotten the occasion completely except for one boy and four words from a poem he recited. With his delightful Cape Breton accent he launched forth with "Others Lord, Yes Others." Again and again these words were repeated at regular intervals, a kind of refrain in the poem. We were so impressed that in appropriate situations we too burst forth with "Others Lord, Yes, Others."
Last fall on a trip to British Columbia we began to realize how many others were actually involved in getting us there. Service station attendants, restaurant and motor inn personnel, bus, boat and train crews, eight friends, and nine relatives all had a part to play. Our estimate is up to a hundred others. Our experience with all of them was most memorable. What really impresses us is the way that almost everything we do affects others. Conversely, others are constantly affecting us for better or for worse. Others can either make or break our days. Here are some very ordinary examples.
It snowed heavily overnight filling in our lane and driveway. Early the next morning Bill plowed us out. A few years ago I had married Bill to his wife Doris. Four years ago Morris helped us build a storage shed refusing any payment. I knew he liked butternut wood for some of his projects. I managed to give him some butternut logs. I believe that in such simple acts the teaching of Jesus about loving one another is carried out. The result is a happy and peaceful community. We know. We have one.
Prayer: Our God and Father, we thank you that you created us for love. For all our loved ones we are truly grateful. Even for enemies and those who persecute us, we pray that your transforming power will turn them into friends. Help us to remember, O Lord, that with you, nothing is impossible. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.