“Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” The author of 1 John invites us to put our love into action—to love with our lives. Love is a commandment: “love one another, just as [Jesus] has commanded us.” If we follow this commandment to love, then we are in communion with God: “All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.”
Several years ago, a neighbor of mine gave me a birdhouse. It was the perfect size and structure for bluebirds to build their nests inside. I put it on a wood post in the yard, which turned out to be a bad idea. Neighborhood cats dug their claws into the wood and climbed up to kill the newborn chicks. The nest became a grave.
Last summer, Charles Moore, a retired Methodist minister, nearly 80 years old, parked in a strip mall in his hometown of Grand Saline, Texas, pulled out a gas can from his trunk, drenched his clothes with gasoline, knelt down, and lit a match. He died in flames.
Once, in a class I taught in a prison, the men talked about which officers would and wouldn’t shake their hands. I could imagine them saying the words of Jesus, “Touch me and see.” Discover that I am human like you.
When the angel of the Lord told Elijah to go to Mount Horeb, Elijah knew he would encounter God. After all, Horeb was where God spoke to Moses with fire and to Israel with a storm. But for Elijah, God didn’t show up as expected.
A vengeful howl among political leaders in North Carolina has silenced God’s voice as legislators try to resume executions of those on death row. “Justice requires that we restart the death penalty and carry out these executions,” insists Senator Thom Goolsby (R., N.C.). “We have a moral obligation to ensure [that] death-row criminals . . .
“The story of Naboth is old in time but daily in practice,” said Ambrose of Milan. “Who of the wealthy does not strive to drive off the poor person from his little acre and turn out the needy from the boundaries of his ancestral field?”
Our world was and is ruled by those who control militaries and cartels, banks and corporations—the heirs of King Ahab’s insatiable desire and unrestrained power.
"Get up, eat some food, and be cheerful,” Jezebel said to Ahab. “I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” Using letters with forged signatures, she commanded leaders to dispatch thugs to murder Naboth. Meanwhile Ahab feasted. He trusted Jezebel to give him his heart’s desire. Jezebel killed without having to see her victim, and Ahab benefited without knowing about the plot.
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