Romans 12:9 – 16
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
Love one another with mutual affection;
outdo one another in showing honor.
Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another;
do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;
A Word of Hope
If I had to sum up what I believe it means to be Christian and a follower of Jesus, the 12th verse of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans is an excellent summary. It lays out the bedrock principles of Jesus’ teaching and does so with elegant simplicity.
I find that these words hold special meaning in these days. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” All great advice for these uncertain times when I wonder if life will ever return to what it was before the epidemic. The idea of persevering in prayer holds me in that place where I can rejoice in hope.
That rejoicing can happen when we are together or when we are apart. There is no limit to where God’s people can practice these principals. I can rejoice with my friends online and I can extend my hospitality toward others virtually through social media and by giving to my church and other charities that reach out to the hungry and less fortunate.
I know a lot of people including myself have been abused by the words of Paul in the first part of this Epistle, but I have decided not to discard the heart of the letter over a few words in the first verse. I will leave that discussion to another time, but for today I will “hold fast to what is good”.
God of many names, may I always remember to persevere in prayer in trying times that I might continue to rejoice in the hope with which you fill my heart.
Cathedral of Hope