Verses for The Great Fifty Days
Day 35 in Easter
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Our author has encouraged his community to clothe themselves in Christ, to clothe themselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,” to cloth themselves “with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony,” to let the peace of Christ rule in their hearts and let the word of Christ dwell in them abundantly. It is a wonderful word of exhortation, rich with the new creation dawning in Christ. Our author doesn’t speak about the fruit of the Spirit, but it is the reality being described. This is being rooted in Christ. This is abiding in the vine. This is living as children of the light and children of the resurrection.
It is a bold challenge to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus – in the spirit and power of Jesus, and to his glory and honor. We are frail creatures. We are easily distracted by myriad irritations from the way people drive to the things we tweet, to the noise of our neighbors and the wars of the nations. But this exhortation is not a command to do everything right; it is an instruction to stay rooted in the vine. Let the breath of Christ breathe in us. Let his vital energy flow into us like the vine drawing its rich nutrients from the ground and giving life to the branches. Let us bud and flower. Let us put forth fruit. Let us speak kindly, pray sincerely, sing joyfully, give graciously. Let us defend the weak and show hospitality to the stranger. Let us not be afraid to name the name of Jesus or to follow his example. Let us dare to forgive. Let us dare to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly. Let us dare to live the empty tomb. And let us do it all with gratefulness not for whatever material things we may possess, whatever family joys we may be privileged to share, or whatever religious ecstasies we may enjoy, but because the arms of God are wide and full of a true and everlasting love.
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Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Well-clothed_baby.jpg By Andrew Vargas from Clovis, United States [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons