Daily Worship

Give me numbers

September 07, 2017 0 0
Image credit: Pixabay

Romans 12: 9-21

9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ 20 No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

In ‘The West Wing’, after Jed’s ‘wrestling’ with God over issues of fairness and punishment, he concedes that he will not stand for a second term, also communicating that decision to his staff.

However, a visionary encounter with his lost friend, reminding him of the work that is there to be done, and of the challenge that to choose not to run again is one thing, but to fear the work involved or the possibility of failure is quite another.

Paul’s exhortation to the Romans - to have sincere love, to be devoted, zealous, joyful, to return good for evil and live at peace… may seem like an idealistic goal. One that is unattainable perfection.

We know that political power does not grant the ability to achieve perfection - far from it. But that it gives opportunity to do something about the ‘numbers’ - the millions in poverty, in prison, on drugs - rather than run away from the scale of the problem.

The Christian challenge is not only to a personal faith and a life of purity, but to acts and deeds that show hospitality, that avoid vengeance, that bring food and drink to an enemy.

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you…”

Caring God,

Sometimes it seems too hard to care:
Too difficult to imagine the numbers
Too overwhelming to see how we can make a difference.

Help us believe
that how we live and act to others
shows our attitude to evil.

May we cling to good,
and work, so far as we can
to make life taste better,
preserving the good
casting light into shadowy corners
being salt and light
in our patch of your vineyard.

So that we may live at peace and oneness with each other.