I am meditating on Romans at the moment and one of the things I have been doing is taking a passage of scripture and reading it in 20 different translations all in one sitting. One of my favourite passages in the whole bible is Romans 12:9-21. For me this passage should be the basis of every church. I think its a beautiful picture of how to do relationships within the authentic faith community we call church and also how to engage with people in the community. I set this standard for Nowra City Church. I set this standard for myself. Have a read. Here is the passage as it appears in the Message Paraphrase Version.
9-10 Love from the centre of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fuelled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
Out of that passage here are a couple of my favourite statements.
- Practice playing second fiddle
- Don’t burn out: keep yourself fuelled and aflame
- Cheerfully expectant
- Be inventive in hospitality
- Laugh with your happy friends
- Discover beauty in everybody
- Your generosity will surprise him with goodness
Powerful and inspiring thoughts. Now to put them in action…..