From: Phil Kim
I have to admit - Psalm 116 is a personal favorite of mine. The opening verse gets straight to the point: our Lord does hear our voice when we call out to him and answers us! I have turned to this Psalm often during difficult times for strength, comfort, and hope. He has indeed “inclined his ear to me.” The rest of the psalm provides more reminders of God’s love for us.
But reading Psalm 116 on its own can lead us to think that our Lord is like a genie that responds positively whenever we have a wish. Of course, the call and response doesn’t always work this way. When reading John 13.34-35, we’re confronted with another perspective: “just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” To add to this drama, Christ commanded this right after announcing one of his own disciples was about to betray him. By contrasting the two passages, we see two distinct direction of God’s love: one that moves vertically between Him and us and another that extends horizontally among us and to others. Whether that means building friendships among neighbors, serving others in our workplaces, advocating for those in need, or striving for justice in our society, let’s join with the Psalmist and “call on the name of the Lord” to love one another.