Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of Week One of Advent: Year 1
“For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts.” (1st Thessalonians 2: 3 and 4)
We come not from trickery or intentions of self-promotion. We are doing the Lord’s work. We are going to be straight up and honest with ourselves and with you. We are the Lords. You are the Lords. We need to work harder in finding ways to come to consensus on all concerns. As I understand consensus it is the chipping away at a proposition until its properties are at least something all can, at least, temporarily live with. It’s not perfect yet, but tolerable. Unlike voting where there must be winners and losers.
As Christians, what we are doing in spreading the love of the Gospel, is not about human goals, but rather, about God and about what God wants; what God wants from us and for us. God has made this earth as our only life-support system. God wants us to live together in harmony and maintain this planet for the benefit of all its inhabitants. We are to be Adam and Eve in the Garden; and Noah and family on the Ark; and Jonah for Nineveh where God reminded Jonah, “And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?” (Jonah 4:11) This may be the only book in the Bible where God has the last word, and that word is “animals.”
Paul’s message of the Gospel could very well be, “Do good onto others in the Name of the Lord, even to the neglect of self.” Do not take credit for what God is doing through you. We are working God’s purposes out for our community, not for our personal desires. And that’s a good thing. God’s purpose for us is love and peace and harmony among all the people of the world, for the benefit of the world and all creatures, great and small. And remember this, all said and done; it is the Lord’s work we are doing, and God wins, with or without our individual participation. Let’s be willing and loving participants in God’s plan. God in Christ Jesus is coming to check on us!
Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Iran. As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John