Finding God in the Mysteries of every day

Week 11 Day 6

Finding God in the Mysteries of every day

James 1: 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

            Some readers may be too young to remember “letterman sweaters”. Way back in the dark ages I received award letters for wrestling and band. To say that I wore the letters as a means of identifying myself as a wrestler or athlete of any kind is going way beyond the scope of what they may have ever meant. The award was a moment. The identification as a wrestler was only for brief moments on the mat, and during the grueling hours of practice. Oddly enough, the band letter did more to forge my identity for the long term in my life.

            So it is with Christians. In the rush of euphoria and celebration that comes with acknowledgement of our need for the forgiveness of God, so too, there is at hand for each one the possibility of a transformed life. I never “became” a wrestler. But I wrestled. I did become a musician and remain so to this day. The difference? When we “become” a Christian there is the temptation to see everything through the filter of the wonderful acceptance that often comes “in the moment” from the other Christians around us. Many, however, are often left wondering, “What do I do now?” What we have rather ineffectually called discipling has merely become an exercise in handing somebody a reading assignment and telling the to “come back when you’ve completer A,B, and C”.

            If we are to take the words of James seriously, we have a responsibility to not only “be Christians” but to do what the word requires of us in three critical areas. First, the obligation to know what the Word says. That is the whole of the Bible. Second to do what the Word says, even to the point of great personal sacrifice. Third, to live our lives in love for God, love for others, and love for ourselves. (Matthew 22: 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”)

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