Old Testament Lesson
2 Kings 6:1-23
A couple things about this passage. First. there is more going on around us than our eyes can see. God is always at work, even when can't see it. He is always doing things, working on things, bringing things into completion that we just can't see or understand. Today, the army doesn't understand that God is at work and while they think they have the advantage, God has something up His sleeve that they don't see.
Second, as mama used to always say, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. When the king had the chance to slaughter this army, at the urging of Elisha, instead of killing them, they had a feast. And, what do you know, they didn't come and attack them again.
In our lives, can a kind word or an act of forgiveness do more good for than any attack? May we be gracious and kind, and return good for evil, and give grace in all that we do.
New Testament Lesson
1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8
Paul encourages the church here to work things out. In a world that is always looking for trouble, trying to take advantage of someone, Paul says, no. Not us. We, as Christians, are to work things our. We are to love each other, work together, and move past petty issues. We have a bigger goal and a bigger mission in mind than anything else. Paul encourages us to make the peace, work it out, and see the common goal and common good. That's a pretty good idea, I think.
We see here some of Jesus' greatest words; to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. What does that mean? We see it here. Walking the extra mile, giving your coat, forgiving your enemies. In other words, this perfection that God desires for us, that we are to strive for, that the Christian Gospel is based upon is that: love, forgiveness, grace. We are to live in this way, and in living lives of love, both love of God and love of neighbor, we will be chasing after that life the Lord wants us to live.
Today, let us live. Let us love. Let us seek to forgive and be the people that God needs us to be. And let us do it the only way possible; through His grace.