Written on February 14, 2020
It’s a sun-filled, desperately cold Sunday afternoon. In fact, it is St. Valentine’s Day, the day of the spirit of love. He got hold of the love idea, and practiced it. He made a practice of deeds of love and mercy.
It’s not much when we give one day in a year to thinking about living in the love way.
It so happened that the TV preacher from Texas whom we have watched on the Sundays of this long pandemic, when we have so needed churches, was talking about “emptying out the negative.” His descriptions were brilliant of how easily we fall into dark thoughts – about ourselves. Thoughts about our own inadequacies, our inabilities, our penchant for defeatist thinking about our health, about our work, about the world around us, and how easily the pandemic has exaggerated that darkness.
But Joel the preacher’s point is that God is thinking just the opposite of us. He, after all, has made us. He has plans for us. He sees strength in us, and success in us, and that our job is to lay hold of God’s view of us, of the goodness, even greatness He sees in us, and for the good things He plans for us and has waiting for us up ahead. He wants us to claim that picture of ourselves. To talk to ourselves about goodness and greatness.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been on our minds this month. He was a man of faith, of believing the best, for himself, his people, his country. “I have a dream,” he famously said. A dream of different people coming together. A dream of all people living, loving, and working together. He preached the dream, and gave it to America, and its divided people.
And his dream came from Jesus. Of a way of living that Jesus taught, and lived for all people.
Jesus was his model. He was Valentine’s model, too. He offers Himself as model for all of us. “Follow Me,” is what Jesus said to all those He met on the road of His life. That long journey of His so short three-year ministry in the world, was calling people to follow Him. To see the world His way. To not be self-centered like the rich, but to be humble, like the poor, the children, the sick, the broken, the hurting.
It was to take up the burden of the life of sacrifice, of doing good to others, the life of bearing the cross. He calls all of us to that. From the cross, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they do.”
What brother Martin knew America needed for the children of slaves and the children of slave-holders was to sit down together at the table of reconciliation on the green hills of Georgia, WAS FORGIVENESS. Love, lived out.
What a person we have to be to go to that table. To serve the others at that table. To have forgiveness in your heart. The spirit of God’s children – the humble-hearted, the good and the great. That can be all of us. It needs to be all of us. It is the big thing, the great thing that we become, in following Jesus. Never losing sight of that man or woman of love that we dare to be.
Let’s all help each other to be those people, with a selfless mind and heart. Living for others. Serving others. In the Jesus company! Who share “the dream,” and live it together.
Bless you, friends, in this season of the “saints” of love.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES