May 30: God loves

God loves me best! True or false? And if you believe God loves you more than God loves someone else, how do you behave and how do you talk about the someone else?

On Monday, I attended the Memorial Day observance in Eden Prairie and listened to a Vietnam war veteran who was being honored. He shared the words of wisdom that his grandfather gave him before he left for Vietnam: “Always treat prisoners of war with respect.” Little did he realize that his grandfather’s words of advice would save his life. (That’s a longer story for another time.) Then this veteran drew upon his Christian faith and said, “God loves my enemy as much as God loves me.” This was not the Memorial Day speech I expected.

I wonder what the recipients of the Paul’s letter expected. Would Paul, a Jew, announce God’s favoritism to the Jews? Would Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, announce God’s favoritism to the Gentiles? Read again verses 28-29: “As far as the gospel is concerned, [Jews] are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”

God is God. There is a certain humility for me in saying that. God does what God does. God loves who God loves. God saves who God saves. It is not up to me to decide what God does. God’s promise to the Jews remains. Gentile Christians, your job is to act with humility. God will do what God will do. Grace happens.

“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has evver given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

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