I ask for grace and presence as I prepare for a full week. Advent begins for us with the Church Bazaar and a half dozen meetings this week. Praying for those who are sick, and those who are grieving this week. May we proceed with Holy Manners, holding one another in our hearts as stress, and non-sequiturs increase.
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. 11Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.* 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
1) "...let love be genuine;" "...hate what is evil;" "...hold fast to what is good;" "...love one another with mutual affection;" "...outdo one another in showing honour;" "...be ardent in spirit;" "...rejoice in hope;" "...be patient in suffering;" "...persevere in prayer;" "...contribute to the needs of the saints;" "...extend hospitality to strangers;"
2) I was thinking this list was looking familiar and it is the beginning of the list we have used for our "Holy Manners." It's a good list of how to be with one another. I think the challenge comes in discerning "what is evil." Why is it so hard to keep this list? Why do we refuse to hold these commands at the centre of everything we do? Why is it so easy to raise voices in anger? Why do we hold fast to what is unjust, uncivil, unsustainable? Why do we have such odd, non-sequitur, notions of what it means to show 'mutual affection'? And why do we race to outdo one another in showing pride, rather than honour? I'm not sure we are always committed to serving the Lord, our egos are way more important. I'm reminded of a quote from Richard Rohr in an interview with Oprah in which he says that the true self is never offended. If we feel offended, it is the false self. I'm offended a lot. Especially by how some people are so offended by minutia. What does genuine love look like? Because, I feel like I tolerate a lot of non-sequitur. Where is the balance between genuine love and suffering the non-sequitur?
3) What is the invitation in all this? to "be patient in suffering," and "persevere in prayer."
"Holy One, hold us in prayer."
Breathprayer: "Rejoice in hope... persevere in prayer."