September 4 Devotions

Mary Oliver’s words are so true–“only if there are angels in your head will you ever, possibly, see one.”  We can only see what the mind allows as a possibility.  Mary’s quote is much like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that.”  What is inside of us shapes how we see the world–be it a sense of “angels among us,” “an ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” or “the capacity to love in a world filled with hate.”  When Jesus was accused of working for the devil in Matthew 12:24-35, Jesus said, “Kingdoms divided against themselves fall,…Why would Satan send someone to cast out demons and thereby destroy himself?”  The pharisees saw what was a good thing, a God thing, but lacking love and hope inside themselves, all they could do was express an inner fear that Satan was attacking.
We are in the midst of difficult times in this world.  We don’t need to look far or listen carefully to find fears of the worst.  Mistrust, cynicism and hate abound.  Two thousand years ago in a world based in fear, because it was ruled by the Romans who used fear every day to maintain their power, Paul wrote a letter to the early Christians.  He said, “Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love one another. … The commandments, ‘Don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t desire what others have,’ and any other commandment, are all summed up in one sentence, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ Since Love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor, love fulfills the law.” (Romans 13:8-10).
I think Paul was telling Christians who lived in a world of fear, don’t let the distrust and hate get into your heart and head.  Do not let suspicions and frustrations rule your soul.  Focus on Christ and just keep living a life of love.  Nearing an election, in a year of pandemic, with highlighted racial divides, and coping with “living in a nation of two Americas,” choosing love is not an easy.  But, it is a necessary.  Today, and everyday in the near future, we must ask ourselves, How can we bring out the better angels in each other?  When can we be part of God’s light shining in the darkness?  Where can we show love in a world with much hate?
Today I pray for you, me, and Christ’s church.  May we have angels in our heads, light in our souls and love in our hearts.  
Sunday, our Facebook Live worship service will focus on Labor’s of Love.  I hope to see you there.  
Be Well and Be a Blessing,
 Pastor Roger