We know Jesus engaged in spiritual practices, such as going away to quiet places, spending all night in prayer, and taking time to rest. Yet these practices are not the focus of the gospel writers. The stories that fill the pages of the Gospels tell us more about how Jesus loved and showed compassion than about his spiritual practices. He offered healing, extended forgiveness, and cared for the poor. Most of Jesus’ teachings and parables were about God’s generous love and forgiveness. The stories about Jesus tell us how he loved.
Loving others in the spirit of Jesus may be the most significant of all spiritual practices. Without love of others, the spiritual practices have no value. That may be difficult for some to hear, but living for God is so much more than spiritual practices. Many of us have made the spiritual practices themselves the measurement of our spirituality, so much so that some don’t know how to have a spiritual life apart from the practices.
What if this became the measure of our Christian faith – What would love have me do today?