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Vacation/Kindness
August 20, 2019, 1:38 PM

Vacation

Time to go on vacation! Bobbi and I traveled to Neah Bay, our first trip that direction. It was cooler and Bobbi located various sites to visit. We were away from August 9th to August 15th.

Vacations are healthy “time outs” for people. We once traveled to England in 2003. I was in a running shoe ware shop and one of the shoe consultants in conversation said as we left “Happy Holiday.” It seemed strange to use that word as it was not Christmas. I learned that in England if people are on a vacation, they are on a holiday.

The interesting thing is that Holiday has a close association with Holy-day, a term used for festivals, ceremonies, events, National and global time off. Sabbath in the Ten Commandments was for work stoppage. Sabbath was observed to remind people that they were no longer slaves to  Pharaoh – a day to rest, and a day of resistance to earning and spending. We can learn much about Sabbath – for me the big thing is the rest since God rested from His work on Sabbath.

I hope many of you have taken time for vacation and returned rested with pictures and memories.

Galatians 5:22-26 - Two different ways of living

 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the self with its passions and its desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit. 26 Let’s not become arrogant, make each other angry, or be jealous of each other.

 

This passage may be a timely prayer guide to consider. We pray “thy Kingdom come’” to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in our lives and our World and the hope that is ours for the common good of all people.

This beautiful hope filled text from Galatians is in such stark contrast to the changing times in which we live. We more often see the earlier portion of Galatians 5:16-21 where the negative behaviors known as “works of flesh” or “selfish-desires” are listed and sadly obscure the good things mentioned above in Galatians 5:22-26.

It is a strange vision in our “modern” world where as Christians we live amid a great deal of choices, news, and information that lack “the fruit of the spirit.” For many of us, we may recall times, places, and people, where goodness seemed more intentional. I think church still occupies that Hope filled, Jesus’ way, of life.

With the recent news of mass shootings in Gilroy California, El Paso Texas, and Dayton Ohio, and also the immigrant workers in Mississippi, my heart is saddened. It seems like a  daring proposal to consider God’s Kingdom way of living with an internal peace of mind that also reaches outward with love for the neighbor.

I found the following article to share for this column…

 

Kindness

Kindness is the overflowing of self upon others. We put others in the place of self. We treat them as we would wish to be treated ourselves. We change places with them. For the time self is another, and others are self. Our self-love takes the shape of complacence in unselfishness. We cannot speak of the virtues without thinking of God. What would the overflow of self upon others be in Him the ever-blessed and Eternal? I was the act of creation. Creation was divine kindness. From it as from a fountain, flow the possibilities, the powers, the blessings of all created kindness. This is an honorable genealogy for kindness. Then, again, kindness is the coming to the rescue of others, when they need it and it is in our power to supply what they need; and this is the work of the Attributes of God towards His creatures…

Moreover kindness is also like divine grace; for it gives us something which neither self nor nature can give us. What it gives us is something of which we are in want, or something which only another person can give such as consolation; and besides this, the manner in which this is given is a true gift itself, better far than the thing given: and what is all this but an allegory of grace? Kindness adds sweetness to everything. It is kindness which makes life’s capabilities blossom, and paints them with their cheering hues, and endows them with their invigorating fragrance…

Last of all, the secret impulse out of which kindness acts is an instinct which is the noblest part of ourselves, the most undoubted remnant of the image of God, which was given us at the first.

F.W. Faber, Spiritual Conferences (Thomas Richardson & Son, 1859), p.2.

 


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