Saturday, April 04, 2020

In their own words: Day 39

Romans 12.9-21

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

It is easy for a list like this to sound trite to us, because it is so familiar, the kind of thing we might find on an inspirational poster. In reality, though, Paul’s words are extremely challenging, especially when we consider them against the background of his life and eventual death. Blessing those who persecute you is easy when you aren’t actually being persecuted, for example. In Paul’s context it involved real pain and real death.

·         Read Paul’s words slowly. Which phrases do you find most challenging?

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