"Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn." --Romans 12:15

Romans 12:15

15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

 

One of our most powerful tools of witness is our presence rather than our presents; not the stuff we wrap up nicely with a bow and give to people out of our abundance…but rather the giving of ourselves, the gift of being with, whether it’s convenient or not.

Romans 12:14

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

 

Bless [show kindness, desire good, go beyond mere nonretaliation]…

…those who persecute you [those who treat you badly, insult your faith and values, make it difficult or dangerous to follow Christ…just to name a few]…

…bless and do not curse [in person, on social media, behind backs…you know, everywhere]

“God’s will is wider than we imagine…and even though we may fall short God’s call on our life, in God’s infinite knowledge of all that can be known God is able to weave a tapestry of God’s will around the decisions that we, as humans, freely make. Any person earnestly seeking to live for God cannot leave the will of God without a conscious rejection of God. Instead, in and through the interweaving of God’s sovereignty and human free-will, the choices we make—influenced as they are by the wooing work of the Holy Spirit—become the visible squares of a quilt sewn together by the nearly invisible threads of God.”

[I found this note in the margins of notes I took sixteen years ago in a seminary course on the history of Christian thought and practice. Don’t ask me why I was reading seminary notes from sixteen years ago!]