Daily Devotional for Small Group Discussion: She Knows Who We Are!!!
- When have you been surprised by your feelings at being recognized for who you are?
- How have you felt known and loved by God? By others?
- How could you practice showing others that same knowing and loving?
Now concerning love of your siblings in Christ, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. – 1 Thessalonians 4:9 (NRSVUE adapted)
“Omigosh,” I texted my wife at her office, “drop everything and watch that video,” a video sent in a text by our daughter-in-law. In it, our toddler granddaughter pointed at a picture of us and used our grandmother names: “Mimi! Kiki!” My wife replied, “OH MY GOSH I JUMPED UP AND DOWN AND SO DID MY COWORKERS!!!!!”
Moments later, I texted the video to a friend, adding “She knows who we are!!!” While we are tracking her developmental markers, our response was about more than cheering her accomplishment. Being called by the names we chose for ourselves brought joy! It’s a thrill, and often a relief, to be seen and known.
In the letter to the church at Thessalonica, Paul gives due credit for the ways its members show love for one another. The Greek word for brotherly love has been expanded in more modern translations to include sisters, just as our overall language use has expanded beyond assuming masculine language for people includes all people. Now in church life, we have been encouraged to be more inclusive and use the word “siblings” instead of gendered terms such as “brother” and “sister.”
Our granddaughter’s new language skills didn’t come out of nowhere. Her parents have practiced words with her, pointing to objects and people, repeating sounds, and inviting her to say the words, too.
Love means putting in the work to get the words right and letting people know we see who they say they are.
Holy One, help us to know and love one another as you know and love us. Amen.