Today's Lectionary Text
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse, but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. For
“Those who desire to love life
My parents are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary today. I annually ask them why they thought it was a good idea to get married in January at a countryside EUB church in northern Kansas. There were some good stories about my dad and his brother getting stuck coming back from town to pick up the wedding cake, and my mom riding in the truck to get to the church and changing in the furnace room. There are many stories for all of the 65 years, but I have to say that overall, it has been a story of a unity of spirit, of sympathy, of love for one another. Their years together have not always been easy but have always been a blessing.
In a time of broken and breaking relationships, of political and social divides, of doctrinal and fundamental denominational disagreements, perhaps we should turn to those pastoral letters and those well lived lives and find solace and inspiration there. Where there is division, let us keep from demonizing the other in thought or word. Where there is disagreement, let us speak without exaggeration or mistruth. Where there is dissension, let us be the peacekeepers. Where we find ourselves distant let us turn to prayer, “… for the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous.”
We get confused about righteousness. We think it’s about all the right things, orthodoxy or orthopraxis: right belief or right action. The call to be righteous in scripture is neither of these but a call to be in right relationship with God and with each other. There is no “ortho” for that because that stems simply from the love of God and neighbor.
I think that 65 years of marriage is a testimony to the power of right relationship, of acting in sympathy and love, of having tender hearts.
-- Rev. Daniel Norwood
Prayer for Reflection
Lord, make us effective instruments of thy peace, tender hearted ambassadors of your love, and humble vessels of your grace. Inspire us to be blessings to all we meet, that we may reap the blessings of your inheritance. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.
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