Pondering for Thursday, July 21, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 11: Year 2

Morning, Psalm 50; Evening, Psalms 66 and 67;

Joshua 9:3-21Romans 15:1-13Matthew 26:69-75

“May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15: 5 – 6)

These words of Paul about who God is, is worth some deep pondering.  Paul says the God of “steadfastness and encouragement.”  Steadfastness, to me, means discipline.  It means to keep on keeping on.  This is the discipline of my blogging, every day.  However, we must look at content.  The discipline of steadfastness is negative if the content of what we are being steadfast about is negative.  The content of steadfastness must be both good and uplifting for our family, friends and humanity.  This then is the encouragement part.

We all should lift up the good traits and habits we see in others.  Such lifting up is encouragement and it promotes harmony.  Even the most introverted person likes to hear words of encouragement. Such words really do bring about harmony in the community. This is how the God of love is revealed in the community.  I think this is why Paul says that God is the God of steadfastness and encouragement.  God is made manifest in how we embrace one another in steadfastness and encouragement. In this way, when people see you coming, they will say to themselves, “here comes “Good News!”

This blog is an example of my steadfast discipline and encouragement to all who read this blog so that readers may, with one voice, glorify the God and Parent of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And I pray our Creator and Sustainer act through us for the safety and welfare of Ukraine.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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