Today's Lectionary Text
Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.
I recognize that I am not always the best person to imitate. There are times I consider myself to fall into laziness and/or selfishness (by my standards). There are times I am impatient and unforgiving. I would prefer if the only time I was presented as an example were the times, I considered myself to be at my best. However, I am thankful that I can at least recognize the times I am not at my best, the times when I am rude or arrogant or careless. I can then repent, make amends, and strive again towards holiness in attitude and action.
I am thankful for the comfort I find in the final verse, “He [Christ} will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of God’s glory …”. I read these words and I am reminded of God’s transformative power. Perhaps the person who witnesses/witnessed my impatience is/was reminded in that moment of a time when they were themselves impatient – and vow to do better themselves (I know this has happened to me!). Perhaps the person who sees me in a fit of laziness is instead reminded about the importance of sabbath. I am confident that God, through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, is able to transform the times I fail to live to my ideal – both for me and for others..
Please note -- this is not permission to not care. I definitely believe we are called to strive towards perfection in love and holiness of action. I am simply reminded that God’s mercy is wide enough to cover me in the times I fail.
Thanks be to God!
-Rev. Karen Jeffcoat
Great Plains Board of Ordained Ministry
Prayer for Reflection
Lord, help me to remember that I should live my life so that my love for you is easily seen by others. Help me to remember that I am a model and example of your love. Forgive and transform the times when my love for you is obscured in the times, I am not living my best life in you. Amen.
This Week's Lectionary
This Week's Liturgical Color