Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Paul and Company

Letter received? I suppose one never knows with a blog, especially in the beginning. In this, it seems that blogs may not be all that different from Paul’s breadbox.

Today I happened to read about a Paul who was quite different from my childhood letter recipient. He was actually “my” Paul’s opposite in two key ways. For one thing (this being very important), he was real. For another: if this Paul received letters, history does not appear to know about them. This Paul was a letter WRITER, one significant enough that I’ll bet you have some of his letters in your home. He wrote such important things that others have written letters about his letters. “When Paul was absent, “ I read today, “he wrote you letters. By carefully studying these letters, you can strengthen yourselves in the faith that has been given to you.” (St. Polycarp)
I have a particular fondness for this Paul: this encouraging, strengthening, challenging, inspiring, letter- writing Paul. I am continually drawn toward not only reading his letters, but living them. I’m drawn – and called – to not just read, but live, the words in other books of the Bible as well. Now THAT is a challenge! To say I fall short is putting it mildly. But I want to keep trying. Minute by minute, I want to keep trying.
“Rejoice in the Lord always! ,” wrote Paul. “I say it again. Rejoice! Everyone should see how unselfish you are. The Lord is near. “ (Philippians 4:4-5) I don’t merely want to read these words – I want to live them.
Can I remember that the Lord is near - tomorrow - even the minute I pop out of bed? Hmm. I slide that question into the breadbox, uttering a prayer that I can spend tomorrow – at least that ONE day – making a “choice to rejoice.”

("Howdy Doody" photo in US public domain)