A Daily Dose of Good News
Thursday, June 25, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at https://youtu.be/U2mbILlDiio
and will remain available throughout the day and the week.
For a printer-friendly version of today’s devotion, please click DDGN 20200625
Good morning everybody! It is June 25 and it’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News. Today we’re reading from Galatians 5:2-6. See if you can hear the good news in this…
Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. 4 You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.
Here ends the reading.
I bet you weren’t expecting to be talking about circumcision this morning. But, we’re actually not really going to talk about that. Because the point of this text is: it’s not about obeying the technicalities of the law and getting hung up on: are you circumcised, are you uncircumcised? It’s more about: what is your heart? Are you following the technicalities just because you’re being legalistic, and just because you’re trying to look good to other people? And you’re trying to impress others and pretend that you’re more loving than you are? I think that’s a good question- for both then and for now. Because it’s easy to get focused on some of the technicalities. Part of that, I think, is because they’re concrete. We can think, we’ve checked the box, and it’s done. Without thinking about: have we really? Have we really set our hearts towards whatever we’re trying to do and whatever we’re trying to pursue.
So, today, because I love to give examples…I’m wearing a t-shirt that talks about being loving. It lists all these groups to whom I should be loving. And I can walk around proudly in this t-shirt and act like I can do all of these things 100% or a 1000%, and, I can’t. And I struggle with that. Some of the groups that are listed on this shirt, I specifically struggle with loving. But I can wear the shirt, like I’m doing great. Or I can wear the shirt and admit to myself, I struggle with some of these. Or I don’t even have to wear the shirt. I could wear a different shirt, and admit to myself: I struggle with some of these on my list. My list is everything from: my homeless neighbor, my Muslim neighbor, my black neighbor, my gay neighbor, my immigrant neighbor, my Jewish neighbor, my Christian neighbor, my atheist neighbor, my addicted neighbor. There’s a whole list on here. And I need to be honest with myself and with where I struggle and with where I treat any of these groups as “other” and give them “the Heisman” right away, that I hesitate to engage with them, that I judge them, that I’m not very loving to them. I’m going to own that I do, to some of these listed on my shirt. I’m not saying that to brag about it, I’m saying that to be honest. The fact that’s what we’re talking about in this text. It’s not about trying to look good for others or even trying to pretend to myself that I’m being righteous; it’s about owning when I’m not, and asking for God’s help with that, and realizing that what really matters is faith through love. Faith in God, and love overflowing out of me because of that, to groups that I struggle with, ok? Bringing that to God and asking God to help me be more loving, be more forgiving, be more open and to recognize God in all people. So, today, as much as I might try to do that, I’m gong to challenge myself in that. I invite you all to join me in whatever reflection is helpful to you, as you think about “where am I being faithful and showing love, and where am I struggling with that?” And where might it be helpful to have an honest conversation, with both ourselves and with God, to ask or help in that, in our humanness, and ask for forgiveness in that. So that we can operate better through faith in our Lord and Savior and in love. Have a good day everybody. Bye-bye.