In our gathering for early morning Lenten Bible Study this week, after a beautiful rosy sunrise, one of the 16 of us round the fireplace at the Hilltop Restaurant noted the little advert in our invitation to these Wednesdays together - a reference to the blog posts in the "Arthur Rouner Ministries" ancillary website connected to The Pilgrim Center for Reconciliation's website.
I've been thinking a lot during Lent about the Biblical charge to "Think on (good) things." "Finally, beloved," Paul writes to the Philippians, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable; if anything is worthy of praise, think about these things."
I take it as an admonition to think good thoughts. To think well of each other, and of those around us, including leaders.
We've gotten in the habit as a society, of adding epithets to our opinions of others. Epithets that dismiss them as sick, as "phobic." Like Islamophobic, or xenophobic.
Today I happened to hear part of an hour long program on Public Radio that was discussing mental illness. And, particularly mental illness--or suspicions of same--in past presidents of the United States. And then, of course, their speculation of some mental or personality disorder in our present President. All of this intended to raise the question as to whether he is in some way mentally ill.
The subject is clearly raised in order to do damage to the leader of our country.
The Bible, on the other hand, calls us to think about what's good in those around us. To think well of all people. A call to a different discipline on our part. But a step back toward helping us become a "civil society" again.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES