In The Image

We are in the image of God above

Body, mind, and spirit – made thereof

In our nature united – three-in-one

Not just Christians, but everyone

There is a mission set by Him above

That our actions be driven by

Faith, hope, and love

And as we let this guide us – we will grow

And our godly image – to the world will show


Padre

Thank you Pastor Vince for a thought provoking message

Foundations of Love

Love is always seeking the best

Not for yourself, but for all the rest

It is kind and patient, willing to forgive

Always prepared second chances to give

It flows from a spirit that is with God in touch

Remembering that He loved and forgave us so much

Love is in the end not about what we can get

But more about giving to all we’ve met


Padre

Pastor Vince gave an inspiring yet challenging message drawn from Romans 13 and I Corinthians 13 which serve as the theme of this post.

Commanded

The rabbis tell us there are 613 commandments in the Torah. These include 365 “Don’ts” and 248 “dos.” There can be roughly categorised and summed up in the Ten Commandments of Sinai.

Exodus 20 :

1 And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

This list can be divided in a few ways, but it is generally accepted that the first four pertain to our relationship with God, and the remaining six with our relationship with other people. An interesting alternative view is that the fifth is a transitional command, as it can apply to our relationship with “the Father” or authority in general terms. This view then notes that the tenth is a consolidating command for the fifth through ninth commandments as if you do not covet possessions, you want be tempted to steal, or not coveting a neighbour’s spouse will remove the temptation to adultery, etc.

This division of the commands into “divine” and “human” is seen in Jesus’ further consolidation of the expectations. In Matthew 22, Jesus says the following about the greatest commandment of the law:

Jesus replied: “`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Here we see the “God – Man” divide again. Jesus is presenting the words of the Shema (Deuteronomy 6: 4-5) as the greatest command. The loving here is the Hebrew term “Ahavah” which means affection, but more than that was well. It unlike the Greek “love” which has many forms – agape, philos, etc., it can encompass all of them much as our English word “love” does. Our love of God is built on in Deuteronomy 10 where we are told it involves walking with Him, serving Him, and keeping His commands (see how this comes full circle). We can also deduce that we owe these “loves” to our fellows as well.

This obligation of Love of God and of man is recurrent in the New Testament. First Corinthians 13 tells us that of all the gifts we can receive from God, love is the greatest. Paul notes:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

He further notes that when all else passes away – love will endure.

John then takes this command or obligation to love, and very nicely:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 

So we complete our journey – 613 commands to 10. The 10 to two. The two the a central word: Love.

Let’s do as we are commanded.


Padre

The Nut of Understanding

Julian of Norwich (CC)

I have recently been looking into the theology of the 14th Century anchoress Julian of Norwich. At the age of thirty Julian was suffering a life threatening illness. The local priest was summoned in order to administer last rites. He brought a crucifix with him and bid Julian to reflect on it as she did she had a revelation or “showing” in which she was, according to her writings, given insights into spiritual mysteries including the Trinity and the relationship between God and His creation.

In this vision, Julian was shown all creation as a small nut which was barely perceptible in her hand. The vastness around it was God, and the tininess of the creation was clear. Yet despite this, it was the focus of God’s love. Julian went on to understand the Trinity not as merely three persons, but three relationships with which God relates to the world, and in particular His people. God is the Creator, the Sustainer, and the Lover of creation. It is this relationship and love that assured Julian of a key quote of her work: “All shall be well, and all shall be well,” because God is in control, not us.


Padre

Charm

Stainless, Background, White, Bracelet

A mere trinket

A small little charm

But the love that was linked to it

Could easily disarm

Any doubts of his loyalty

Any perceived mal-intent

For though not all that valuable

True devotion was clearly meant

It was a love charm

Though it looked like many another

But this one was unique

For in it his whole heart he did offer


Padre (and Feileacan)

Warmth

morguefile.com

Stitches and weaves

Patterned knots and twists

Woollen yarn warm

From neck to the wrists

Knit or crocheted

Or made on a loom

To hold winter at bay

And its accompanying gloom

And of all the jumpers, cardies,

Sweaters, and vests

It are those made by a loved one

That are always best


Padre

The true warmth in winter is found in love.

When Your Eyes Smile

Girl, Woman, Smile, Smiling, Happy

It doesn’t matter how my day has been

What ups and downs – outs and ins

Hectic, crazy, or even full of pain

Your smiling eyes make me whole again

Little expressions – so love filled

How can I not by them be healed

Your smiling eyes they make me whole

And I will ever your love extol


Padre

Complete Again

Padre’s Ramblings

With an empty hole within my life

I am complete again with you as my wife

Your presence has removed my pain

And allowed my to live my life again

You have found me in desparate need

And place in me again love’s seed

Thank you for coming to my side

And with me from now on now abide


Padre

Butterfly Visit

Peacock Butterfly, Butterfly, Leaves
Pixabay

Gracefully, you float in the sunlight’s beam

Vivid hues of brightness against the garden’s green

How is it that you ride on air?

And land so lightly, as if not even there?

You visit briefly amid your to and through

Our encounters all too brief before you must needs go

But even in brevity they mean all to me

And make me long for you again to see

I anxious await for some future day

When you from your labours and travels

Oh my Butterfly, will return to stay


Padre

Weekend Writing Prompt #219 – Vivid in 89 words

Aloft

Hot Air Balloon, Flying, Sky, Floating
Nicolae_Balt at Pixabay

Your love is more precious than the breath of life

You lift me upon wings of emotion

My spirit is lifted aloft on the thermals of your sweet care

I soar above the mundane, and the world and its strife

Each moment with you – all my dreams fulfil

And I climb heaven-wards in your presence

And I pray I forever will


Padre