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“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And be thankful.”

–Colossians 3:12, 14, 15b

I often quote Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, an educational television show for preschool children that ran from 1968-2001. So much of what Mr. Rogers said to children on his T.V. show is relevant to what is happening today and what we all need to hear.

Mr. Rogers shared messages of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience with the expectation that his young viewers would share the same messages with others. Every time Mr. Rogers put on his cardigan sweater it was as if he was clothing himself in love and gratitude.

Fred Rogers, who was also an ordained Presbyterian minister, saw appreciation as something holy. He once said, “I believe that appreciation is a holy thing—that when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.”

As we make our way back together from our separation during the pandemic and knowing that so many have struggled and suffered in a variety of ways, who is it that we need to appreciate? Showing appreciation may be toward someone we know well or someone we are meeting for the first time or someone we are in momentary contact with. Showing and sharing appreciation does not always come naturally; we need to be intentional. Appreciation may be expressed for something specific or it may simply be a ‘Thank You,’ or appreciative smile.

I invite us in this week to look for what we know is best in another person and offer our appreciation and also look for what is best in whomever we may be with at the moment. I agree with Mr. Rogers…That’s what God does all the time; looks for the best in us. May we participate in the holy and sacred calling of loving and appreciating one another!