I have a routine that I do most mornings. It's not necessarily good for me but I look at the time, then I open up and look at what happened in my life (according to my Facebook posts), I reflect on that, check messages and then get up. A few days ago I asked on Facebook what were signs of ordinary and extraordinary love. By and large the results followed that the people who received the love called them extraordinary and those who gave ordinary. A couple of examples, having the gas tank in your car filled up by another family member. Emptying the dishwasher when it's not your chore. Surprise no reason flowers or special treats. Each of these gifts of love required some sacrifice on the part of the giver (either in time or money). Each of the recipients knew that they mattered and were important to the giver.
I've learned over the years not to write when I am upset or angry. Or if I do, not to share it with anyone. While it may be a helpful way to process my thoughts the receiver bears the brunt of my frustration or anger that does not usually rest upon the shoulders of the receiver. Does this happen to anyone else? I certainly have thought a lot about what love looks like in these last 2 months. I've seen both ordinary and extraordinary signs. I've also seen folks say that an action is being done out of love & compassion and wondered what was really going on.
In my devotion time I was reminded of Origen from the early church. If you know his name you've been to seminary or very deep bible study/church history. If you don't, he lived in 185 - 254 AD and was a teacher, philosopher and student of scripture and history records him as one of the greatest early interpreters of scripture and doctrine. He is remembered for arguing many things but that we should not call the 1st Testament the old testament and therefore discard it, "for those who understand it and apply it in the Spirit and in the Gospel sense, the Law is ever new and the two Testaments are a new Testament for us, not because of their date in time but because of the newness of the meaning. For those who do not respect the covenant of love, even the Gospels are 'old'." How we move through our lives matters! I know that I make lots of mistakes but I hope that whatever I do, I do out of love.
Psalm 92:1 – 4
It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord:
and to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning:
and of your faithfulness in the night season;
on the psaltery, and on the lyre:
and to the melody of the harp.
For you have made me glad by your acts, O Lord:
and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.
Steep us in your story, Lord: that we may live its truth today.
God loves each of us deeply and dearly. God, sacrificed through Jesus on the cross, so that we might have life abundantly. I think abundant life is filled with true love, not in the big screen romantic sense but in the truest sense. Love that is "patient, kind, not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." So today I will strive to do my best to love in ordinary & extraordinary ways in patience, kindness and selfless ways so that those whom I come in contact with may see the one who sent me.
Gracious God, help us to practice true love in all that we say and do this day so that those around us me see you in us. Amen.