Happy Birthday, Carol!!
College is often the time we first have the experience of living away from our families and learn to live with others. If you were raised in a large family, you’ve probably already advanced in the fine art of learning about living with others. What I noticed is that in the college setting, people will try to kid around with you sometimes. Play pranks on each other. We call it good, clean, fun which is meant to just play a joke on someone.
So, when I walked back to the dorm from a college class one day and I saw a VW Beetle parked squarely between two buildings, I was pretty sure that the owner of the car did not park it there. There were a few inches of space at the front end and back end of the car. It’s funny that our brain wants to work thru how many maneuvers it would take to get the car in that position. Then we finally connect with the idea that it took a group of people to physically pick it up and move it there. I’m sure it took another group of people to pick it up and move it out of that space. I laughed at that one.
Then there was the time that I came back from a weekend away and all of my furniture was moved out of my dorm room. I was not laughing when that happened. There was too much to do to get everything back in place. Many days later, I laughed, but I did not laugh when it happened. I did find out that the responsible party for the removal of my room’s contents was a group of girls from down our hall. That little trick brought a new idea into my head.
In my thoughts about payback, another person suggested that I try something tricky that they had heard of others doing. I learned about the fine art of tying all of the dorm rooms together. I opening my dorm window before beginning to tie all of the dorm doorknobs together, and then going outside and crawling back in the opened dorm window. Our dorm room door was tied closed just like the rest of them so no one would know it was me. I will have to admit that listening to all of the girls trying to get their doors open was quite fun. Fortunately, there wasn’t an emergency that occurred which would require the doors to be easily opened. I never thought about a situation that might arise that would cause harm by the action I was doing. I think it was actually the dorm mother who cut the prank short when she heard the commotion. I’m thankful that no one got hurt.
12:9 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. 10 Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, 12 cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. 13 Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. 15 Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. 16 Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
17 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. 18 If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. 19 Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
20 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. 21 Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
In our text today, Paul reminds us that we are all part of the body of Christ with a ministry to fulfill. We are to each do our part lovingly and joyfully. He also says that if we lead a godly life, we are bound to have enemies. Knowing that our God is the one who judges, we are to leave all judgment to God and not be quick to repay evil for evil.
What is one of the best practical jokes anyone has pulled on you? Did you try to repay them in kind? Did you find that the other person then tried to up joke and things started to get out of control? What is one situation that occurs that really gets you angry fast? Have a Day!
In Conversation with a child: Ask a child to tell you some ways to keep from getting angry at someone
Prayers for our soldiers and others fighting for our country: Nick Steele, Sgt. Zach Fessler, Peter Davidson
Remember in Prayer: Family & Friends of Rev. Amy Snedeker, Natalie, Mary, Vivian, Charleston community, Martha, Pastor Kamya, Bonnie & Courtney, Mark, Michael, Kelly, Sawyer, People of Nepal, Patrick, Roger, Sue, Katie, Marnie, Missy, Jeremy, Ginger, Jean, Frank, and for all those in need of God’s healing.
And those experiencing loss – family & friends of: Amy, Jim, Clayton, Moe, Dot, Judy, John, Roberto, Todd, Loisanne, Karen, Bill, Dee, Cindy, David
Prayer: This is your day, O God, and we give you thanks. Thank you for the gift of friends and others who teach us so much about ourselves. Help us to keep our cool and just remember that judging is your job and not our job. Amen
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© 2015 Lucia Oerter
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The Message Bible – contemporary translation
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