Today being all about love the most important description of it comes from 1 Corinthians 13. Nothing says it better.
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5 it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Richard Rohr wrote in a recent post about Midrash. This is a term I have used often when there is discussion about scripture. Midrash is a Jewish term and has to do with the way they look at scripture. Rohr says: “Jesus practiced a form that the Jewish people called midrash, consistently using questions to keep spiritual meanings open, often reflecting on a text or returning people’s questions with more questions.”
The point of Midrash is to keep digging and thinking about scripture. See what meaning lies underneath the simple. Question what it means to you today and then look at it again tomorrow or much later. We are different each day and may have different ideas and see different meanings.
Don’t be afraid to discuss scripture and hear the ideas of others. There is nothing wrong with seeing another viewpoint. Scripture is not dead words on a page. It is a living, breathing thing.
What are you doing to prepare for the Christ child? There are so many ways that we can focus on the meaning of Christmas. Take advantage of at least one if not more.
Put unused items in a box to be delivered to the needy
Read your Bible every day. A good place to start during Advent is with Isaiah or one of the Gospels about the birth of Christ.
Take time to pray for your needs and the needs of others
Thank God each day for all that he has given you
Befriend someone who is alone
There are many more things to do…but focusing in these last weeks will make Christmas more special
Psalm 2 verses 1-3
Why do the nations conspire,
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds asunder,
and cast their cords from us.”
How true this is. It seems as if these verses are a vision of the future. There are those who want God removed from our nation. Our forefathers saw this nation as being under God and now there are those who want to set it all aside. Where are we headed?
God of our nation, help us to thwart those who want to set you aside. AMEN
I may have shared this before but I absolutely love this from Romans. It gives me hope that no matter what God will be there for me and you.
Romans 8:37-39 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen and Amen
It doesn’t matter if you believe in angels. The question is do you believe that miracles still happen? I happen to be one of the people who do. Our expectation of miracles is skewed. The Bible only included major miracles but there are the everyday ones. The ones that you only see if you have your eyes open to God’s works. Pay attention. There still are miracles!
Amazing God, you didn’t stop miracles happening. They still do. Thank you for your loving hand in the world. AMEN
The Bible contains the word of God it is NOT the word of God. ——-unknown
How important is the Bible for us? Very important. It is our guide book on our spiritual journey. It tells the stories of those who have gone before. It lays out the path for us in the person of Jesus Christ….but in itself is not the journey.
Amazing God, you have given us much wisdom in the Bible. Help us to read and digest it’s meaning and …most importantly… apply it to our lives. AMEN
This has been a difficult time for me but God’s grace is always with us. What a wonderful verse to understand that God understands our weaknesses and continues to hold us with his love.
Loving God, we are so blessed that you are always with us. We can feel your grace and love in the most difficult times. AMEN
Today I am tired so I ask you to think deeply on these words about love.
The Gift of Love
13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
Conflict cannot survive without your participation. ————-Wayne Dyer
The Bible shows us how to avoid conflict. It tells us to turn the other cheek. Not an easy thing to do. For most of us it has nothing to do with physical violence but instead using words (that may not be too kind). A person can’t argue by themselves. If you can’t keep your temper walk away. Words can hurt and cannot be taken back whether out loud or on social media.
Gracious Lord, you have called us to kindness and love. Help us to remember this when faced with unpleasant situations. AMEN