Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Overcome evil with good

Amongst the gloom and doom of the spread of riots, I love these reports epitomised by this hastily put up website.

Evil can triumph by the perpetrators of it pushing ahead with their behaviour, but also by the good standing by and doing nothing. These reports however show the good subverting the bad, using the same technology (twitter, facebook etc.) to organise at the grassroots level, to get out there and make a positive difference.

Christians or otherwise, these people are putting into practice Rom 12:21 - overcome evil with good.

Politicians, commentators and the general public will doubtless look to the institutions for answers, but deep down we all have a choice to make. Do we assume it is someone else's problem, or are we aware of our own personal calling to subvert darkness with light, to overcome evil with good.

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Way of Love

If you have attended a wedding this summer, chances are you have heard 1 Corinthians 13. Yet look back just one verse and change the punctuation and the real context of the passage is not romantic love between a couple at all:

Now eagerly desire the greater gifts and yet I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak ...

I'm not against those classic wedding sermons, but lets not forget the real point of Paul here is how we use the Spirit given gifts - how we operate in service to each other and the world. We can serve in all kinds of whacky and wonderful ways, but without love they are of little use.

The most excellent way is gifts-with-love, not gifts-lacking-in-love. So use of gifts cannot be about yielding power or bringing to bear. Instead they are to come with patience and kindness, with no place for envy/boasting/pride/dis-honouring/self-seeking or being easily angered.

Such a way of love will persist into eternity. The gifts right now are valid, they have their time and place, but the under-current of love will go on and on as with the eternal nature of God.