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Tuesday, March 17

Today’s Readings: Psalm 81; Jeremiah 23:25-32; Luke 12:1-10; Romans 8:31-39; Psalm 82

Featured Reading:
Romans 8:31-39

I realize that I have a character trait that can get on people’s nerves. Actually, I have more than one I’m sure – but for the sake of time I’ll limit myself to just one. That character trait is my ability to be incessantly upbeat or perky. Folks have been telling me since I was in my early teens that one day I’d grow up, take a few lessons from the school of hard knocks, and become bitter and cynical. Thirty years later I’m still waiting for that to happen. So what’s my secret? Well, for me the answer lies in my favorite piece of Scripture – a piece that just so happens to be contained in today’s reading from Romans. In Romans 8:38-39, Paul wrote of a truth that has become for me the very foundation of my faith. “I’m absolutely convinced,” Paul wrote, “that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us” (Romans 8:38-39 from The Message). Those are the words that transformed me into a human version of the energizer bunny. What has been most important for me to realize in terms of living into those words is that Paul didn’t promise we wouldn’t experience difficult events. No, in fact he acknowledged that we people of faith would encounter the same challenges all human beings face: the dead … the demonic … the low… the unthinkable. The power of Paul’s words is that they encourage us to not let those hardships be the final defining moment in our relationship with God. Paul exhorts us to look beyond those challenges and toward what can become the foundational truth in our spiritual lives: that God’s love for us is a constant. May those simple words of promise help get you through all the challenges you face – whether they be in the present or future. Til next time…

1 comment:

glintofpewter said...

a difficult passage for me --

I said "yes" to adopting Annie because of a visitation from Jesus who told that me that he would take care of everything. "Say yes"

I didn't read the fine print.

"...neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor things, rulers, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation [such as life threatening chicken pox, leukemia, mid facial reconstruction gone awry, avascular necrosis of the hip, and leukemia again and death,] will separate us..."

It doesn't say we will be protected from all these things, our enemies will not be subdued nor will they cringe before the Lord, and, yes, it will seem that their doom can last forever (Ps 81:14-15) There is not an (Old Testament) God who will smite our foes. We are only guaranteed companionship while these things happen. (God created so that God might experience relationship.)

Of course we have to open the door, reply to an email, answer the phone, be in the presence of God's children, open our ears to the companionship in which we can sing songs of lament, the songs of grief, songs of love in the presence of the Divine...