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Today, I want to share with you some reflections based on a very special sermon we had on July 22, 2023. As a part of a congregation, I have witnessed the arrival and departure of many individuals throughout my fourteen years of attendance. However, it has saddened me to see how some of these departures could have been avoided if we had shown a little more interest in understanding their situations, instead of disqualifying or ignoring them, as we unfortunately sometimes do.

It's natural to have a stronger affinity with certain people than with others, but we must be aware that this can lead us to distance ourselves from those with whom we don't feel as connected. This attitude can give rise to unnecessary disagreements and even lead some to seek out other congregations – we ourselves might even feel tempted to do so! But in reality, God has a plan for all of us, and we should remember that He shows no favoritism.

A very powerful biblical verse that reminds us of this is from Peter in Acts 10:34-35 NTV: "I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. In every nation, He accepts those who fear Him and do what is right." This is a fundamental teaching that we should carry in our hearts to receive everyone with love and respect, regardless of our differences.

Love is the essence of Christianity, and the love we have for one another will be the proof to the world that we are true disciples of Christ, as expressed in John 13:35 NTV: "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." This truth should unite us as a community, forming a family that welcomes and supports each of its members.

It is understandable that there may be disagreements or conflicts in any community, but it is in those moments that we should remember that God calls us to love one another and seek reconciliation. We shouldn't allow superficial situations to separate us; instead, we should learn to value and respect the diversity of each person in our congregation.

Let's make a commitment to be more compassionate, to reach out to those with whom we haven't interacted as much, and to learn about their stories and perspectives. Embrace the diversity that God has placed in our midst, for it is only in doing so that we can grow as a community and achieve the purpose He has for us.

In conclusion, let's reaffirm our commitment to never discard anyone. Remember that love, respect, and compassion are the foundations that strengthen the bonds between us and allow us to reflect the true image of Christ to the world. Let's not allow disagreements or differences to separate us; instead, let's always seek unity in the love of God.

Let's make our congregation a place where no one is ever discarded, but where each person is loved, valued, and respected as an important member of our family in Christ!

Written by Wilmer López, based on the sermon of July 22, 2023.

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