Monday, January 06, 2014

Praying ROM 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13
I used to like to write Advent devotions here on PPP. The last few years have just gotten to be too crazy-busy to make that work. Each of the candles on an Advent wreath represents a different virtue. There's the Prophet's candle of Hope, the Bethlehem candle of Peace, the Angel's candle of Love and the Shepherd's candle of Joy.

This past Advent, I'd been praying Romans 15:13 a lot. Mostly for myself, due to all the stress, depression and anxiety I'd been struggling with. But also for others. I genuinely wanted to share God's hope, peace, and joy with others whom I perceived really needed them.

In past Advent posts here, I've tried to explain or expound on each of these gifts. This time, I think I'd like to mash this list up with another list- the ACTS formula of praying (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication). 

We'll see how that goes, (if it goes for that matter, tomorrow's the first day of a new semester). Tonight, though, I just want to share something about just one of these four; which one is most important.

When my wife and I taught at Los Angeles Lutheran High, we coached cheerleading. For a while she coached Varsity and I coached Junior High. Eventually, I coached both toward the end. Of course LHS had a fight song that cheerleaders danced to at pep rallies, but we also had a school song, an slower anthem. The tradition at LA was for kids to gather at the end of football games, point one arm to heaven and join in the song.

I don't remember all of the lyrics, but one line sticks with me- "may faith be ever more thy fame and love be thy rule."

For some Christians,  our religion is all about all kinds of rules. Believe this, don't believe that, do this, don't you DARE do that. It leads to a lot of fear and judgement, misunderstanding and competition. For my money the whole Bible boils down to one rule. This is what Jesus said-

John 13:34-35
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love oneanother. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

So assuming I write at least four more posts in the next week or so about Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, keep in mind what Saint Paul wrote-

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Lutheran High's School Song would make a pretty good mission statement, and for that matter, a pretty good epitaph for one's tombstone- I certainly want it to be true for this blog: May faith be ever more my fame, and love be my RULE.

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