Anytime we have a holiday, we have an opportunity to remember. Of course, this month we remember that, as a nation, we declared our independence from England. This opportunity to remember reminded me that there are specific passages of Scripture that I try to continually keep in my active memory. These passages change over the years as given the experiences and circumstances of life. So, here are a few of the current ones:
Matthew 6:10—“Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” This passage reminds me of the big picture, the overall story of what God is seeking to do in and through our lives for the sake of all creation. God is bringing heaven and earth together as one, where God dwells with us and we dwell with God. Romans 8:39—“Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ.” This passage reminds me that, even on my worst days, God does not stop loving me. Of course, this passage also challenges me to consider how I love others and whether or not my love is conditional. Galatians 3:28—“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” In a world, and church, that seems to prefer division, this passage reminds me that we are called to be one in Christ. One of my favorite writers said that the church should be unified in its diversity. Genesis 1:27—“So God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” This passage reminds me that every person I meet is created in the image of God. This can be a challenge because not everyone I meet is a nice person. Nevertheless, as far as it is possible with me, I need to treat each person as God’s own. Mark 12:30-31—“Love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love you neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” These verses remind me of the standard of behavior that should characterize my life. Love for God and others should be the foundation of everything that I do. Genesis 12:2—“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.” This passage reminds me of the meaning of life. We are to receive the blessings that God gives to us; we are to enjoy those blessings; and, we are to find ways to share those blessings with others. These are just a few of the scripture passages that I try and keep continually on my mind. As a spiritual exercise this month, take a little time and think about the passages of Scripture that you keep on your mind. Then, if you are willing, share those passages with others along with the reasons why.