Thursday, July 31, 2008


It has always seemed weird to me that Paul tells us in his letters that love should be "sincere" and "from the heart". I don't know if I ever asked anyone about it, but it seemed to me that there were very few if any people that I really loved in this way. How could I? Who could? No one loves everyone like that except God. So I figured maybe the verse didn't mean what it seemed to mean. Maybe I was loving people from the heart since Jesus is in my heart and its some kind of theological idea...this "loving from the heart."

But my discomfort has caught up with me again lately. I do not love people sincerely. Some days, even for no explicable reason, a good friend will call and I will feel annoyed that they are calling me even before I pick up the phone. I just don't want to be bothered with other human beings some days, even the ones who have always been good to me. Let alone those who are more difficult to love. I may force myself to pick up the phone and put a smile on my face, but that just doesn't seem like "sincere" love "from the heart." Is choosing to act loving the same as what Paul is talking about? Because that is the most I can muster in myself.

I think God is asking for something supernatural from us. He wants to see His love in us, all the time. For awhile I could believe when people said that God does not do miracles anymore. But now I am thinking that we are called to live a miracle every day of our lives. Only God can put that kind of love in us and share it through us. And when I went back and reread the verse above, I saw the clue to how:

"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart." I Peter 1:22

We can choose to act loving, but God just loves. And His love can shine through us as our hearts are purified, rid of love for self and the world.

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." I Jn 2:15

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I had a thought in the shower this morning, which is where I have thoughts that seem to come by surprise. It occurred to me that in a healthy Christendom, seminaries would be unnecessary.

My line of reasoning went like this: Jesus, his apostles, and the leaders that succeeded them were not seminary trained, and that does not seem to have been a disadvantage. One might object and point out the fact that Jesus and others spent much time in the synagogue, but that seems more analogous to church or Sunday school to me than seminary. Our churches should be providing the training for our pastors and laypeople alike. Why is this not happening? Where did we get the idea that going to a special school for a few years was better training for leading Christians into a relationship with God than simply walking closely with God?