Clearly, this is not an exhortation to lovelessness per se. We are not asked to turn a cold shoulder to everyone and everything. The 'world' is the ego in all its individual, cultural, political, nationalist and racial expressions. It is relentless in its determination to resist and/or subvert God's rule. Unless we learn to love God, the world is irresistible.
The truth of this maxim is well documented. Youth, under the protective sponsorship of parents and elders, feel bullet-proof and hazard everything for good times. People living in developed lands within safety nets of security and health benefits, frequently suppose that misfortune in the world is a rare phenomenon. And, as in Job’s story, men and women yet untouched by disaster feel free to pass judgment on those who are not so lucky. They show their contempt for misfortun
Proverbs are the considered reflections of individuals who have been around for a while and know a thing or two about how things go in the world. This wise observer sees that resentment and envy have a negative effect on persons in whom they are nurtured. Harsh and unfair things may happen, but the wiser man will choose not to pity himself.
It can be instructive to occasionally listen to one's own prayers. They have the potential to remind us of our native desire to make God the servant of our ideas and values. But if God gave humans everything they asked for that's what he would become, and everyone would be a 'believer' for the reason suggested by Satan (above). God would be a genie in a bottle, facilitating our every desire--and we would not love him at all.
Note the thrust of God's love: it bears in the direction of others like ourselves, whom he loves--our fellow human beings. One of the temptations for those who would be religious is to practice a so-called godliness which focuses on impersonal forms, ceremonies, traditions and ideas. These are not central. God has made this clear by his attention to US. Our moral indebtedness to one another is measured out by nothing less than the magnitude of God's loving act in Jesus.
What is it about the poor that interests God so much? The question hovers and bothers us because the poor rate very poorly in the kingdom of mankind. They are 'under-performers.' Despite that the poor are 'always with' we really would prefer if they were not. God seems to have a different attitude altogether. Indeed, he almost seems to relish their company. Our text suggests that this is so because God loves to be sponsor the poor; they are an occasion for him to show compa
How should God conduct himself; what should he be doing? Only the God of the Bible would humble himself to invite mere humans to consider such questions with him. As in Jonah's case, our sense of rightness and wrongness points to a God bound by his own nature to act mercifully. Therefore, the moral imperative of God is the designation of our duty.
Many a sage word is uttered to the effect that it is best to live life on the assumption that when it is over, there will be nothing. This wisdom is widely held and is even spoken at funerals where the departed is a youthful suicide. Small comfort for weeping loved ones! Jesus propounds a different view: It is better to order one's life on the basis that human relationships cultivated here will have a fruition beyond death. Without an eternal reality, everything that happe
That God could retrieve his people to himself even after they had died was an idea that began to take shape in the last two centuries of the Old Testament era. Christ's resurrection from death gave flesh and blood to this emergent surmise; transforming it into the 'blessed hope.' At least two times before his passion Jesus gave folk a glimpse of the glory to come. How poignant and tender is the scene outside the city of Nain. How precious the prospect of severed relationship
As a small boy, it was for me a crucial given, that my dad was utterly tireless. He could work hard without having to stop and rest. He could go on endless hikes and never get breathless. What is more, he could carry me when I became weary. More than this, dad knew everything. he always had an answer to a puzzle or a problem. I found out, of course, that dad did get tired and there were things he just couldn't figure out. But I didn't know that back then--and it was good t