Let us lead a life of peace, of godliness and dignity, seeking what is good and acceptable and right in the sight of God, knowing that we are held by a love like this:
The creator who made us still claims us in covenant love; The Redeemer who dies for our sakes lives again by the Word of God; and The Sustainer of all creation yet breathes courage into our hearts. Amen.
Peace, Dignity, Covenant, Courage. -- These are the words which stand out to me when I read the Benediction above, which I heard spoken by a pastor at a clergy gathering. She found it as a paraphrase from Timothy and I heard it as a wonderful challenge of faith. If we could, just for a month, or a few weeks, or a day, claim one of these marvelous images of faith and live it in our daily encounters, what a life we would have – what an image the world would see in us. What a bright light would shine! If all we did, if every question we sought an answer to, or every decision we made, we first said, “Am I being peaceful in this?” or “Is the best dignity of spirit and humankind coming out in me by my encounter with this person?” Are my motives acceptable and good? How would God see my motives? Do I believe I am held up by love? What if I deeply believed – I am loveable, I am love worthy, I am a beloved child and God has the Holy hands of love holding me up for the journey? Do I believe God created the universe, other creatures, the natural world, and me? And, we are connected in a covenant? Do we see we have a give and take, an adventure of life shared because we may, not because we must, and that love connects us in such a way we cannot be separated? Do we claim Jesus as the hope of grace, forgiveness and eternal life which as I read, study and pray, the Word of God in scripture, I understand this mystery more fully? Courage. I love courage. It gets me through the difficult times and it sustains me in the common days. Courage gives me the “ump” to take a step on my own and know I am not alone. Courage tells me I will be loved even if I try and fall a bit short or finish at the end of the race. God will and does run with me. So how have you and I been living lately? Can we live a life of peace, of godliness and dignity? May courage, dignity, love and grace sustain our journey,