Monday: December 9 

Romans 15:4-13

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.

May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing praises to your name”; and again he says, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”; and again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him”; and again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

from Richard Howard, First Christian Church, Morgantown

            It’s good to read different translations of scripture, for often key words are translated differently.  In verse 5, the New Revised Standard Version uses the term “steadfastness.”  In the Common English Bible, the term is translated as “endurance,” perhaps the better translation when we consider that Paul is talking about hope.  Hope in God.  Hope in neighbor.  Hope in the “Other,” whoever or whatever that “Other” may be.

Looking at the way the world goes about the business of living, people of faith can often become discouraged.  We need to be able to trust in God, especially in the times when we are confronted by a terrible present and an uncertain future.  We need to be able to embrace that which is “Other,” that which is different from us, as part of God’s incredible creation.  The universal tone of Romans 15:4-13 encourages us to look at the gift of Jesus as a gift not just to us, but to the whole of creation – Jew and Gentile, man and woman, slave and free – all are given the gift of God’s deepest expression of love: Emmanuel.

May the diversity of Your love instill in us

a love of diversity in this blessed season.

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