Saturday, January 16, 2016

Meditation for January 16, 2016

John 2:15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

The number of things I find to be outraged about on a daily basis sometimes overwhelms me. In the wash of conflict that comes through my news feed and social media, I am often tempted to give up, to give in to silence and apathy. What we say (and do not say) matters. 

Silence and apathy are expressions of hopelessness. Instead of giving up hope, I do my best to speak out of the hope that change will come. I do my best to make my own whip of cords—sometimes speaking out on social media about my concerns, marching in demonstrations, voting as often as possible, debating with my friends about our world and what’s happening in it. Small things, yes, but I hope some of the tables are overturned when I’m done. Jesus reminds us that sometimes we have to overturn the tables that stand in the way of justice, peace, and mercy.

Almighty God, you have created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Love comes from God

Love is what the Christian religion is really all about. Let's read what the Bible says about Love.

The Greatest Commandment  
Matthew 22:37-39 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself."

Jesus’ New Commandment  
John 13:34-35 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Honoring Others in Love  
Romans 12:10 "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves."

Knowing God is Knowing Love  
First John 4:7-8 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

Love our Enemies  
Matthew 5:44-45 "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

He who has not Love  
1 Corinthians 13:2 - And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Loving Others like Christ Loves Us  
John 15:12-13 "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."

Love Fulfills the Law  
Romans 12:8 "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law."

God loved us so much that He gave us the supreme example and so “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19), not that we loved Him first. He loved us so much that He willingly gave His one and only unique Son to die for us so that we might have eternal life (John 3:16-17) and in fact, it was the only way to gain eternal life.