Scripture: Hebrews 13:1-16
Key verse: (1) “Let mutual love continue.”
Reflection: Do you make “to-do” lists? I do. I relish in checking things off as they are accomplished. Today’s lection from Hebrews reads like a “to-do” list. There are no less than sixteen imperative verbs in the sixteen verses from Hebrews. They cover a wide range of topics:
1. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers (for by so doing some have entertained angels unawares!)
2. Remember those in prison, as though you are in prison with them
3. Remember those who are being tortured, as though you are being tortured.
4. Hold marriage in honor
5. Keep the marriage bed undefiled
6. Keep your lives free from the love of money
7. Be content with what you have
8. Remember your leaders
9. Consider the outcome of their lives
10. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings
11. Go to Christ outside the camp
12. Bear the abuse he endured
13. Continually worship
14. Do not neglect to do good
15. Share what you have.
From strangers to spouses; from prisoners to preachers and presidents, from the tortured to strange teachings, from marriage to money, the passage covers a broad spectrum of life. These are not simple “to-do’s,” easily checked off our lists of life. They are daily disciplines that shape the life of discipleship, lived out in practical ways, like our attitude toward money, and what we do with it. They can all be included under the first imperative: “let mutual love continue.” That love is to include strangers, prisoners, the tortured, our spouses and loved ones, our leaders, and most importantly, our Lord.
Prayer: O Lord, help us to live out our love for you today, by sharing what we have, by remembering those outside the gates of the world — those in prison, those trapped between nations, and those being tortured. Inside the gates of our lives, keep us faithful to each other and to your teachings. Let us be content with what you’ve entrusted to us. We pray for our leaders, O God. Give them wisdom to lead us in the ways of justice, truth, and love. Amen.
Author: Joe Clifford
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].