Happy President’s Day all! Hope you are well!
1 John 2:3-6 The Message
2-3 Here’s how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments.
4-6 If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.
I use a daily lectionary (or daily scripture lesson) from a united church of Christ site. Each day it lists three scriptures to choose from. I try to do the devotional first thing in the morning unless I am travelling or things are crazy and I can’t get to it right away (like today). When I open the scriptures, I read through each one and think about each one. I try not to plan ahead so I can sit with the scripture in the moment. If I really can’t think of where to go with each scripture, I try another daily scripture site but usually I try to sit with whatever scripture is presented. What stories come to me? What prayers? What ponderings? This makes me look at the world differently in these seasons. Experiences that I have change into where God is showing up….like over dinner with friends last night or in worship yesterday morning or during conversations right after..or when we went on a group wine tasting yesterday later afternoon….
So I think about what images come to mind and then I start to write. When I opened the scriptures today, I actually said out loud…”Oh geez, I don’t like any of them!” Usually I can at least look to the Psalm for comfort or inspiration. Didn’t work today. The scripture I picked out of the three seems pretty up front. Pretty basic. The only way to really know God is to act accordingly. You can’t say that you know God and then not love people. In order to really say that you know God, you have to act like Jesus…you know, love people.
Your insides have to match your outsides. Your actions need to represent what is inside of you and what God calls you to. I guess we could make it more complicated but I am thinking it is pretty close to that kind of integrity. Like Ash Wednesday…if you mark yourself with ash, you have to be ready to live into the consequences..not the show of it. That’s hypocritical.
Ok…easy to say, harder to maybe live out. Because we are human. And humans mess that stuff up. Lent is about realigning and stripping away the other stuff. What will that look like for you?
And I am sorry to say that the only images I could conjure were images of dressing up animals as other animals. Cute and funny but super confusing to us and them. It doesn’t match. It doesn’t work for long and it certainly isn’t right for all concerned.
I could have gone more saintly but today this is what happened….tomorrow will be a new day. 🙂