“Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” vss. 11-12
Having shared some difficult theological insights with the Romans, Paul moves on to a series of imperatives that he believes will guide that community’s life together. Those recommendations seem routine to us…there’s nothing out of the ordinary about any of them…but taken together they are a good description of a vibrant congregation. Imagine a group of zealous, ardent followers of Jesus united in a singular desire to serve the Lord. All of them are recognized as gifted and are encouraged to share their gifts as they live out their calling to be the Body of Christ in the world. There’s no bickering or jockeying for position. Love binds them together! As this community of faith looks to the future, they rejoice in the hope they have in Christ Jesus and patiently endure whatever suffering might come their way. Above all, they are united in prayer, constantly lifting up the needs of the hurting to God, praying both for themselves and for their enemies. What a blessing it is to be a part of such a congregation! Would that every baptized believer could find such a home! We give praise and thanks to God that millions of persons through the years have been nurtured and sustained in just such a faith community!
Thought for the Day: How is my community like the one that Paul describes?