Day 171 | Sunday, 6 September 2020
HOLY COMMUNION TODAY FOR THOSE WHO WANT IT
The assigned scripture readings for this the 14th Sunday after Pentecost are: Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149 or Psalm 148; Romans 13:8-14 and Matthew 18:15-20.
Romans 13:8-14 The Message
“8 Don't run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along.
9 The law code - don't sleep with another person's spouse, don't take someone's life, don't take what isn't yours, don't always be wanting what you don't have, and any other "don't" you can think of - finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself.
10 You can't go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.
11 But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God.
12 The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.
13 We can't afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight.
14 Get out of bed and get dressed! Don't loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!”
Romans 13:8-14, CEB
8 Don’t be in debt to anyone, except for the obligation to love each other. Whoever loves another person has fulfilled the Law. 9 The commandments, Don’t commit adultery, don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t desire what others have, and any other commandments, are all summed up in one word: You must love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is what fulfills the Law. The day is near
11 As you do all this, you know what time it is. The hour has already come for you to wake up from your sleep. Now our salvation is nearer than when we first had faith. 12 The night is almost over, and the day is near. So let’s get rid of the actions that belong to the darkness and put on the weapons of light. 13 Let’s behave appropriately as people who live in the day, not in partying and getting drunk, not in sleeping around and obscene behavior, not in fighting and obsession. 14 Instead, dress yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t plan to indulge your selfish desires.
Holiness of Heart and Life Love One Another
“According to John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament, loving one another is a never-ending Christian obligation. It is also the essence of Christian ethics and behavior. When we avoid violating a particular law, the letter of the law is observed. But when we love another, the underlying spirit of the law is fulfilled.
In John 14:15 and 21, Jesus links loving him to keeping his commandments, so that love is the only law in our relationships – with oneself, with neighbors, with enemies, with creation and with God. In practice, it means promoting the highest good of others and not causing harm.” (Contemporary English Bible, Wesley Study Bible page 1435)
Dear Lord, on this Lord’s Day as we read these words, help us keep our focus on the commandment to love. Lord, help us remember that we must love ourselves before we love others. This is the greatest commandment as well as one of the most difficult. Lord, Hear our prayers. Amen