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Monday, December 30, 2019
Today’s Scripture Reading | Titus 3:4–7
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (NRSV)
Here we are a few days after Christmas with this letter from Paul, which seems to express the entire gospel in a few concise sentences, reminding us that it all started with God’s “kindness and love.” In recent years I’ve pursued an interest in Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness practice. “Loving-kindness” is one of the catch-phrases that comes up time and again in the writings on those subjects. Developing compassion for others by practicing loving-kindness is at the root of that philosophy. Here we find the source of loving-kindness in God, reminding us that we can’t earn God’s grace; all we can do is accept it.
I am especially drawn to the metaphor that the Holy Spirit comes to us like water, washing over us, poured out generously by God through Jesus. I picture a flood of water rushing through a crowded city filling all the gutters and cracks in the pavement, going everywhere, flooding the streets and sidewalks, touching everything and everyone. Like God’s unconditional love, there is nowhere we can go to hide from it. Wherever we go in life, God will find us and be there with us.
Dear God, help us to accept your grace and to see and treat others with the love and kindness that you have poured down on us. Amen.
Written by John Shorney, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church
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