Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
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Thursday, May 7

Today’s Readings: Psalm 40; Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Matthew 7:13-21; 1 John 2:7-11; Psalm 131

It’s easy to look at some scriptural passages on the surface and think to oneself, “I’ve really gotten the message of that text down pat.” Case in point – today’s reading from 1 John. The author of the passage wrote: “Anyone who claims to live in God’s light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It’s the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God’s light and doesn’t block the light from other” (1 John 2:9-10 from The Message). I’d read the passage and think to myself, “I’m in good shape in terms of loving and not hating. I don’t hate groups of people such as those whose sexual orientation is different than mine or illegal immigrants, etc.” As long as I left the passage at the abstract level, I was in good shape. It’s when I got down to the concrete circumstances of my life that I sometimes got myself in trouble. I’d hear about the actions of an individual on the news like Fred Phelps – the anti-gay pastor from Kansas that makes a point of picketing servicemen and women’s funerals because he feels the country is too pro-gay – and allow the light in my life to get blocked. Or I’d look at a former co-worker who – in her quest to get promoted – stomped all over those of us who worked around her and let darkness overtake me in the way I felt about her. Or I’d look at look at the friend who mischaracterized an exchange between us to friends in order to isolate me in our social circles and have feelings that were far from love in my heart. As long as I kept the admonition to love and not hate in the abstract, I found it was awfully easy to follow that challenge. It’s when I took that admonition and put it into the concrete circumstances of my everyday life that I sometimes got in trouble. So where are you in terms of living into the admonition? Do you prefer to embrace the passage theoretically, or are you willing to put it into practice in your day-to-day life? Til next time…

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