I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
Food for Thought:
When I read this passage, I think of family. Sometimes family are those people who are blood relatives, but more often than not your family gets expanded to so many other people. When I think of family, I think of my 3rd grade Sunday school teacher; I think of my childhood next-door neighbors; I think of Carolyn, my mom’s best friend; I think of my colleagues in ministry; I think of friends who have stuck by me through the hardest of times; and I think of my church family, this church family; that has helped me to grow up in the faith and continues to help me grow in the faith each day.
Almighty God, we thank you for those people who have had a positive impact upon our lives. For the ways in which they have touched our lives, we give you thanks. Through their example, they have shown us how to be loving and compassionate toward others. For this, we are eternally grateful. Through them, O God, we have learned how to love and serve you more faithfully. Through them, we have learned how to have compassion for all of your children by reaching out to all those who are lost and hurting. In a world where there is so much pain and bitterness, they have shown us how to be instruments of your love to all those who are suffering. In your holy and precious name we pray, Amen.