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Thursday, 7 December 2017

"Glorify God... Abound in Hope."

I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully.  I ask for patience, tolerance, compassion and empathy.  I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, and self-importance.  I ask for the grace to prepare the way for new way for Christ to be made manifest in my thoughts, words, and actions.  May I seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly.

Romans 15:7-13
7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
‘Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
   and sing praises to your name’;
10and again he says,
‘Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people’;
11and again,
‘Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
   and let all the peoples praise him’;
12and again Isaiah says,
‘The root of Jesse shall come,
   the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles shall hope.’
13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

1) "...for the glory of God;" "...Christ has become a servant;" "...the truth of God;" "...glorify God;" "...Rejoice, O Gentiles;" "...praise the Lord;" "...let all the people praise him;" "...the Gentiles shall hope;" "...the God of hope;" "...all joy and peace;" "...abound in hope;"

2) Paul exhorts us constantly to get along with those who are fundamentally different from us: "for the glory of God," that we may be filled "with all joy and peace in believing" and "abound in hope."  And how have we done with that over the millennia?  How are we doing?  So much of Paul's gospel is simply, "Get along people!"  "For the glory of God, get along!"  "Don't think you are better than you ought." "Don't think you are wiser than you are." "Don't judge each other, leave judgement to God."  "God sent Christ to reconcile ALL PEOPLE."  "The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope."  Paul asserts that the promise wasn't just to the chosen people of Israel, but to Gentiles as well... that's everybody else!  Christ has welcomed us, Welcome each other, for the glory of God!  Why do we struggle with this so?  How is there even room for argument?  Except that we forget humility, we judge, and consequently we condemn.  Where's the "stop" button?  It is too easy to judge and condemn.

3) What is the invitation in all this?  For the glory of God, seek humility, and stop judging others.  To leave judgement to God.

"Holy One, help us to glorify you and only you and to cease glorifying ourselves."

Breathprayer: "Glorify God... abound in hope."

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