Tuesday, November 22nd. Romans 12:14-21

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14-21

 

The college I attended, Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, had an honor code that was taken very seriously by every student I knew.  It wasn’t complicated.  My memory of it is limited to not cheating and not messing around with anyone else’s stuff.  I do remember once that I forgot my backpack full of books and notebooks on a couch in the student center.  Two days later (obviously two days not focused on studying), I realized I lost it.  I retraced my steps and found it just where I had left it.  That was normal for life at Concordia.

 

I also remember the mission statement of that college.  Though I graduated 29 years ago, I often remember and will never forget:  The purpose of Concordia College is to influence the affairs of the world by sending into society thoughtful and informed men and women dedicated to the Christian life.

 

From the first time I heard that I thought to myself, “I want to be one of those people.”

 

This all came to mind for me in reading again from the advice on Christian character Paul gave to the Romans.  I thought about growing up in a small town, about Robert Fulghum’s classic, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, about the formation that happened for me in college.  His words seem so simple.  So common sense.  And so absolutely other-worldly.

 

Don’t just be with people, really be with them.  Feel free to feel their joys and sorrows with them.  Strive to get along well with others.  Don’t think you have to be, or act like, you are better than anyone else.  You are good enough and that is good enough.

 

Don’t “get back” at people.  Doing so damages yourself so why do double damage?  If you are to do anything, practice kindness and generosity.  Be a force for good in the world.

 

This seems so simple because it really is simple. It is also possible.  One thought at a time.  One action at a time.  One day at a time.

 

Perhaps the right question to ask is, “How (rather than what) do I want to be when I grow up?”

 

Let us pray:  Dear Jesus, you have broken down the dividing wall of hostility that divides us from God and one another.  We pray for your help so that we might live our lives out of that reality.  That we might, in word and deed, love our neighbors as we love ourselves, grounded always in your love for us.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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2 Responses to “Tuesday, November 22nd. Romans 12:14-21”

  1. Carole Says:

    Amen and Amen, and may God guide us always.

  2. Karen Says:

    We, also, strive to bring light to the world by living these simple tenets.

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