If I allow myself to be interrupted by a person in need...
If I listen attentively to other people...
If I share with people and treat them as more significant than myself...
If I respond to a distress call...
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned...
...but have not love, I am nothing, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind
love does not envy or boast
love is not arrogant or rude
love does not insist on its own way
love is not irritable or resentful
love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things
love believes all things
love hopes all things
love endures all things.
How are you not being heard?
“We cannot be too careful about the words we use; we start out using them and they end up using us.”
― Eugene H. Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology
How are you experiencing JOY nowadays?
How are you experiencing SORROW nowadays?
…how are you rejecting JOY presently?
…how are you eschewing SORROW these days?
How do JOY & SORROW meet, and find their fulfillment, in the person, work, and life of Jesus Christ?
How do we SEE & SAVOR Jesus Christ as THE fulfillment of J&S throughout the entirety of Scripture (comprehensively substantiated and solidified – Luke 24:25-27, 44-46)?
What do you really want?
What do you urgently/yearningly desire?
What is that you fancy?
“The only opportunity you will ever have to live by faith is in the circumstances you are provided this very day: this house you live in, this family you find yourself in, this job you have been given, the weather conditions that prevail at the …moment.”
― Eugene H. Peterson
“It is not easy to convey a sense of wonder, let alone resurrection wonder, to another. It’s the very nature of wonder to catch us off guard, to circumvent expectations and assumptions. Wonder can’t be packaged, and it can’t be worked up. It requires some sense of being there and some sense of engagement.”
― Eugene H. Peterson
“The way of Jesus cannot be imposed or mapped — it requires an active participation in following Jesus as he leads us through sometimes strange and unfamiliar territory, in circumstances that become clear only in the hesitations and questionings, in the pauses and reflections where we engage in prayerful conversation with one another and with him.”
But if you allow tragedy to guide you to look beyond the meeting of needs, beyond the temporary scarcities and lacks of life on earth, you see that the irresolution of tragedy imagines a looming surprise.
For the Christian frame, this surprise is salvation, an infinite life in which all needs are perfectly harmonized. Does it mean the tragedies of life are less tragic, less painful? Not at all. But it contextualizes them in such a way as to demonstrate that they shouldn’t be made primary in our ethics. They are not eternal like hope is, but rather incidental. Life has a gap in it: it just does. You can’t resolve it because it’s just the nature of life on earth, but the fact that we must qualify ‘life’ with ‘on earth’ in the context of tragedy means that there is life beyond this one, and it’s toward that end that we orient our ethics. This alone allows us to register our unhappiness and dissatisfaction while still sojourning on.
That’s the conclusion of a very rich post on marriage by Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig.
“The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular. In my dreams, I often make plans for the service of humanity, and perhaps I might actually face crucifixion if it were suddenly necessary. Yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone for two days together. I know from experience. As soon as anyone is near me, his personality disturbs me and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I begin to hate the best of men: one because he’s too long over his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps on blowing his nose. I become hostile to people the moment they come close to me. But it has always happened that, the more I hate men individually, the more I love humanity. ” — Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
He who is love is light and fire as well. Far from condoning sin, His love has found a way to expose it (because He is light) and to consume it (because He is fire) without destroying the sinner, but rather saving him.
– J.R.W. Stott
Bonus Stott + a Lewis =
“There is such a thing as a misguided tolerance.”
“The fruit of love is confidence.”
“It is easier to be enthusiastic about Humanity with a capital ‘H’ than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive. Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular.” [Lewis]
The Middle East and parts of central Africa are losing entire Christian communities that have lived in peace for centuries. The terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped and killed hundreds of Christians this year — ravaging the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza, in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, two weeks ago. Half a million Christian Arabs have been driven out of Syria during the three-plus years of civil war there. Christians have been persecuted and killed in countries from Lebanon to Sudan.
Historians may look back at this period and wonder if people had lost their bearings. Few reporters have traveled to Iraq to bear witness to the Nazi-like wave of terror that is rolling across that country. The United Nations has been mostly mum. World leaders seem to be consumed with other matters in this strange summer of 2014. There are no flotillas traveling to Syria or Iraq. And the beautiful celebrities and aging rock stars — why doesn’t the slaughter of Christians seem to activate their social antennas?
Who Will Stand Up for the Christians? – NYTimes.com (via ayjay)
(via Wesley Hill)