The Rev. Twila Smith
Grace & Mediator, Allentown 


“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.”
– Romans 12:9-10


Last night, a few of us met to plan a prayer service – in response to recent acts of hatred – and emerged to hear the news coming out of Nice, France. More violence, more deaths.

“Hate what is evil.” Well, yes, St. Paul. And you knew that we should not let hate consume us. Anger may provoke positive action, yet it must not stand alone; Paul reminds us to wrap it in love and goodness. Love to overtake evil, love to melt away hardness, love to restore love.

As God’s church, as beloved communities scattered throughout this diocese and around the world, we are called to the evil, to bear witness to the love that shall prevail. The signs of hope we bring into places of pain, the love we show towards those who hate and cause harm, the healing we support – such love is the heart of reconciliation, the mission we have been given.

Where do we turn to be wrapped in love again?

This morning I am grateful that this is not a solitary pilgrimage. I am grateful for the bonds of mutual affection, the connections we share across the church. I need these reminders, these interactions with Christ’s love, to have my own heart restored … to go out once again into the streets, into the workplace, into the mission fields that are calling.