Monday, August 23 2021
So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’ (John 6:67-69)
Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak. (Ephesians 6:13-20)
How can we find a way of life that will express an authentic expression of our love and willingness to serve God? Timothy Sedgwick, ethics scholar, says that “Welcoming the stranger, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, visiting those in prison, forgiving those who have acted against us, and perhaps most prosaically, but fundamentally sharing meals together in table fellowship—in these actions Christians claim they experience the full presence of God in a way that orients, reorients, forms, and transforms the roles and relations of everyday life.” When we do these things we move closer to what God wants us to become. In other words, we move closer to the abundant life, which is what God created us for. In moral terms, vices are those things that corrupt our human powers and capacities and virtues are the perfection of human powers and capacities. The theological virtues are faith, hope and love. Faith is the knowledge of God and the act of knowing God and brings us to a trust in God. Hope is an expectation of new opportunities and joys. Love is the experience of being loved by God. We might think we are headed in the right direction, but our arrogance makes us vulnerable.
How we love our neighbors that are different from us indicates how we love the Lord. Jesus said that what counts is what’s inside. Our actions through the power of the Holy Spirit change people from the inside out. Sedgewick said, “The presence of God given in worship is inseparable from the call into the covenant of hospitality that is our daily life…only in the covenant of hospitality do we acknowledge that we share a common humanity. In this is the ground for justice.”
In Christ's Love,