I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Romans 12:9-13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Marks of the True Christian
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.[a] 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Over the past year, we have seen terrible images of the multiple crises in our nation and in our world—dark images of death and destruction. Those are the ones that seem to get our attention and linger in our minds.
But, that is not all we have seen. We have witnessed inspiring images of people living by the second General Rule—people doing good of every possible sort:
- An exhausted ICU nurse comforting a patient
- A doctor exhausted from hours on duty in full protective equipment, placing a comforting hand on the shoulder of a worried mother
- Firefighters traveling to California to help fight wildfires
- Volunteers helping in the cleanup following a hurricane’s devastation
- Protestors peacefully protesting racial injustice
- Volunteers packaging and giving out food to families in need
- Educators doing their best to ensure our children receive an education despite all the difficulties of online learning
- A child proudly holding up a picture she drew to encourage people on the front lines of fighting the pandemic
The list is long. Yes, these have been devastatingly hard times, but during these times, some images and stories remind us that “light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.” They remind us that even death does not have the final word. They remind us that good is not overcome by evil, and that evil is not overcome by evil, but that evil is overcome by good. They remind us that our families, churches, schools, cities, communities, nation, and world need us to live as Paul called the Romans to live in our scripture for today.
I like the way The Message translation/paraphrase renders Romans 12:9-13:
Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster