Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Today’s text

Ephesians 4:31-32

Any bitterness or bad temper or anger or shouting or abuse must be far removed from you -- as must every kind of malice. Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.


Last night’s news featured a photo of a former army officer standing in front of a Nazi flag bearing the infamous swastika, the world’s most notorious symbol of hate. More photos followed accompanied by angry music with vile lyrics.

How? I wondered. How can anyone identify with such filth, such death? How can a soul become so twisted that they willingly drink this poison--and be moved to kill, as this young man did, riddling a Sikh temple with bullets?

Perhaps it is fear of the outsider, fear of those who are different that motivates such hate. We seek to destroy that which we fear.

The invitation of God’s grace is to live beyond fear, knowing God is good and gracious, trusting that neither life nor death nor anything else can separate us from an immeasurable love that holds us in every moment.

There is no fear in God, who is full of loving graciousness even to the enemies of God, as Jesus revealed in him life and ministry.

There are moments when this love also fills us until we overflow with peace and kindness, wanting nothing other than to appreciate and bless those around us, gently handling every moment and every heart.

In these moments, we truly know who God is; we know how we are loved and held, and we know how we are to live--beyond fear and in love, always in love, generous as God is generous, forgiving as we are forgiven

Only in knowing the Love who holds us can we live the love that lifts us above our fears of the other, of those we do not agree with or understand.

When we see such hate as sometimes fills our TV screens we reach again for that Love who is always reaching for us that we might be the antidote to the hate that rips human souls and societies. This is Christ’s call to us.

And know: God uses everything, wasting nothing, not even swastikas.

I was blessed watching the news. The hate-filled images moved my heart to embrace more deeply the gentleness of the Spirit within my own heart, grown there through years of praying and hearing the way of Jesus, the way of grace that makes us human.

Pr. David L. Miller

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