When I was trying to figure out what the topic of today’s message should be, I struggled. Once again, the scriptures recommended by the lectionary didn’t speak to me. So what does one do then? Well, I couldn’t really just give up and say, okay, no message for today. So I thought about what I talked about last week, how people just didn’t seem to be as kind as they could, or as forgiving as they could. In my mind, I was scolding each one of us for not putting kindness and forgiveness in the forefront of our lives. Have we really become that way? I think in most cases not entirely so, we still are kind and able to forgive but maybe with stress added in our lives, we sometimes don’t take that breath before we react.
Which brings me back to this week. The words that came to mind were love and faithfulness. So what is love? Love can be many things, the love of a husband and wife, the love that parents have for their children, the love children have for their parents and siblings, the love one feels for a pet that is a part of the family. We can love a certain food, a favorite color, a favorite song and the list can go on and on.
Chapter 13 of 1st Corinthians has a wonderful way of describing love. It says love is patient; love is kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. Love rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. If the love we have for any of the above mentioned things was so, life would be perfect would it not? It seems however, that we as humans can find something to throw a curve into that love. Our own insecurities, our own self pride, our own minds that tend to work overtime on something that should have not even made an impression on us, can throw a wrench into that love. There is the verse that says; “when I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child, when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.” But do we? Are we able at all times to not revert back to our childish ways?
Then we come to faithfulness. Faithfulness is that lasting loyalty and trustworthiness in relationships, the fact or quality of being true to one’s word or commitments, the quality of adhering to fact, a standard. So if we love, do we keep that love by being faithful? Being faithful, having faithfulness should be our guarantee that the love we have would always be true and everlasting. Once again, as humans, sometimes keeping that faithfulness can be a struggle. We are inundated every day by so much information and even misinformation that we can hear or read or see something totally way out there and be convinced that it is the truth. That faithfulness falters, then the love we should have can also falter.
So, what do we do? Well, we should have been praying all along to God. Isn’t He our strength, our anchor? The part of Psalm 143 that Leroy read says in part; “Answer me quickly Lord; my spirit fails. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.”
If we even prayed just that every day, being able to have that love; that faithfulness should be a lot easier I would think. Life in general would be a lot easier.
For the first part of Psalm 89 that Leroy read says; “I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations. I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.”
We know that God loves us no matter what; He is there for us no matter what. For even in the times when we are in distress, when we think that He has forsaken us, He hasn’t. Sometimes we just need our cage to be rattled so to speak so that we do remember that God does love us, He is there for us no matter what.
The last part of Psalm 89 says it all; “For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord, a God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and awesome about all that are around him? O Lord God of hosts, who is as mighty as you, O Lord? Your faithfulness surrounds you.”
With the love and faithfulness of God surrounding us, we can be kind, be forgiving, have faith, and have love that is patient; that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. We can be more like the people that God would have us be. Being God’s children, we weren’t meant to do it all ourselves. He is there for us, no matter what.