5 Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. 6Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.
7 We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
1) "...in honour of the Lord;" "...give thanks to God;" "...we do not live to ourselves;" "we do not die to ourselves;" "...live to the Lord;" "...die to the Lord;" "...whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's;" "...For this is the end Christ died and lived again;" "...Lord of both the dead and the living;" "
2) I always get that quote backward... I always say "Lord of both the living and the dead." Watch me try to change that... "Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's." I wonder if I could hear that "Whether we succeed or whether we fail, we are the Lord's"? Today, I feel like I fail so much. I seem constantly called beyond my resources and I have such mixed feelings about that. I feel that after all these years, shouldn't I have some store of patience and tolerance? Shouldn't I come to empathy and curiosity more easily? Shouldn't I have dealt with those triggers and buttons that set me off again and again? Shouldn't I trust as an automatic response? Shouldn't I be more practiced at letting go? Shouldn't I recognize my own ego when it is staring at me from across the room? It is a good thing that "whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's." I "know" that it is in the wilderness beyond our comfortable limits that we learn to follow more faithfully. But it is so painful being here all the time. This is the work I want to do... I just wish it was done already. Suddenly, I feel like I'm going into Lent, not Advent!
3) What is the invitation in all this? To trust that it is okay to die/fail, and it is okay to live/succeed, because whether we live/succeed or whether we die/fail, we are the Lord's.
"Praise God, for God is Lord of both the dead and the living."
Breathprayer: "Live... We are the Lord's"