Thursday, July 22, 2010
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:1-4
Yesterday morning we got up early and rode our bikes to the beach for one last swim before the end of our vacation. We will be back at my Mom's again during the summer, and we will have a chance to swim again in the ocean, but we wanted to start our last day with a sense of strength and vitality. It has been a very hot July and we have spent our time out of the worst of the heat to keep us all healthy. So our last morning, we wanted to revel in the ocean without the burning heat recently experienced. We had the beach to ourselves, and the sky was a soft blue with wispy clouds and striped with some mist on the water. The dunes and the lighthouse were perfect backdrops for our swim. The tide was just coming in so the waves were gentle. It was a taste, a dip into the strength and power of creation in her gentlest form. We bathed in creation's power, so when our strength was tapped, we might remember and be strong again.
Our Gospel reading for the week is the passion of Christ - betrayal, denial and abandonment - all the things we humans do when times are tough. We often strike out and hurt the people we most love and turn our backs on those who could help us the most. Paul, writing to the Romans, reminds us all that we have been given a measure of strength, and that strength is not for ourselves alone, but for those round us in need. May we who have strength share what we have with others in these tough times.
Today, I want to be strong, even when the storms of life seem to rise up against me. I pray that I can be strong, not for myself but for all those who are around me, who ask me to be strength and direction for them. May I remember the strong and constant waves and remember how God's love is stronger and more constant than those waves.
Today, as I begin