Week 4 • Anneke Kapteyn
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
As I considered what I might write for today’s meditation, I felt uneasy: I have very strong feelings about the upcoming decisions surrounding the Human Sexuality Report, as I’m sure many of you do, too. You might even just feel strongly consternated. In my case, I decided to turn to my college-era collection of poetry, theology, and novels that I had loved. I hoped that perhaps this might cultivate gentleness within me as I opened my heart to Christ—gentleness being a fruit of the Spirit that I decidedly lack.
As John Ames is speaking to his friend Jack in Gilead, “[t]here was an uneasy silence, so I remarked that he might find Karl Barth a help, just for the sake of conversation. He said, ‘Is that when some tormented soul arrives on your doorstep at midnight? Recommend Karl Barth?’” This quotation is a little out of context, but the point stands: theology alone does not bring [most of us] the comfort of knowing we are loved. Doctrinal purity and righteousness without love become sharp and arid. And yet love must lead to righteousness, lest it collapse in on itself.
Notice in Philippians 1 that love precedes discernment, which in turn precedes righteousness. Without proceeding immediately to righteousness, consider: what does it mean for discernment to spring from love? How can we cultivate that deep, abiding love of our communities?
Merciful God, enable my love to abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. Help me discern what is best and keep me pure and blameless for the day of Christ. Fill me with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ. May you receive all glory and praise. Amen
Spend some time thinking about who belongs to the communities you love, and spend time together with members of the Christian community in conversation around this issue. Think, also, of who is a member of the Christian community, and include people from different groups in your heart, in your prayers, and in your conversation.
You probably love someone who is part of the LGBTQ+ community. You probably also love someone who is against same-sex relationships. Name them in your prayers. Let God cultivate in you a deeper love for them.
Pray for …
- COS members to approach God’s children and God’s Word with deepening love, teachability, and wonder
- Delegates to the CRC Synod in June – that their discernment would overflow with love, knowledge, insight, purity, and righteousness
- Sisters and brothers at Ada Bible Church – East Paris (a Camelot Community Partner)