I want you to imagine a really complicated spider web. Think of one of those you might see outside, on a walk in the woods. It’s big, and has so many lines and layers of silk you almost can’t see through it. I know that sometimes spiderwebs are a little spooky, and it’s awful to walk into one and get that tickly, sticky feeling all over. But I want you to think about spiderwebs a little differently today. I want you to think of God as one big spider web. Sounds crazy, but imagine it with me! We all live in God’s creation, on God’s web, and that means that we’re all connected to each other. Think about how a spider web has all those different strings and lines of silk that meet and cross each other and overlap and come together to create this really helpful, big, beautiful web! That’s how I think of God in the world around us.
In today’s Bible story, Jesus talks to a group of friends and tells them that whenever they’re really nice to people, when they give food to someone who’s hungry, or a sweater to someone who’s cold, that they’re also giving those things to him. And when they’re not nice to people, when they walk right past them in the street without saying hello, or they don’t offer a drink of water on a hot day, then they’re being mean to Jesus too. That’s because Jesus is inside all of us. He wants us to treat everyone as special and loved and wonderful, because that’s what he thinks of us!
So, God is the huge spider web and we’re all the spiders living on that web. When we are nice to people, when we see them and care about them and invite them onto the web with us, they bring their own personalities and gifts and they make the web happier and stronger. And when we’re mean to people, and tell them they’re not welcome on our web, then we lose out on all the good things they have to offer.
So, this week, every time you see someone or talk to someone, think about how they all live on God’s big spider web with you. Maybe you want to draw a picture of a big spider web with your parents, your grandparents, your siblings, and friends, all of them on it. But when you draw that web, I want you to also draw someone that you don’t always get along with. Maybe it’s someone you got in a fight with and you’re still sad about it. Or maybe draw someone you’ve never even met before. Because God wants us to know that we are connected to every single person, even the ones we don’t know and the ones we might not like! They all live on God’s giant spiderweb with us! So go out this week and try to think about how every person you meet is also loved by God, and is worthy of your time and your love.
The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog