This is one of my favorite graphics, created to complement a sermon by Rev. John Frey. Even though the chair is far from perfect, with its tattered arms and well-worn upholstery, it’s still able to fulfill its purpose, beckoning, “Come, sit, take in the beauty of God’s creation.” I can see myself sitting there, still, listening, waiting on God.
Oftentimes, when I do “be still and listen”, I hear what I call “God whispers” – nudges to reach out to someone or to pray for them. So, to me, this chair serves as a reminder to be still, listen and pray.
John’s sermon, “Perfect Isn’t Perfection”, was based on Matthew 5:43-48. I encourage you to give it a listen, as it was a very thought-provoking message about Jesus’ call for us to love our enemies. What really caught my attention, though, was John’s explanation of verse 48 “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.“
John explained that the Greek word translated as “perfect” isn’t talking about the pursuit of “perfection”, but rather, the concept being described is to “live fully into your purpose, to perfectly be what God placed you on this earth to be”.
We, like the chair, don’t have to be perfect to live fully into our purpose, which, at least in part, is to love others as he loves us. Let’s be honest…. we don’t always like everyone we meet and in fact there are people in our lives that we just do not like – because of wildly different viewpoints, past hurts, perceived transgressions or whatever – and it’s more than a little difficult to feel, much less demonstrate love to them. Thankfully, though, prayer is a form of love, and when we love those we don’t particularly like by praying for them, we are living into God’s purpose for our life. We are loving others as he loves us.
This week, I will concentrate on loving an ‘enemy’ by lifting them in prayer each day. Will you join me?