James & Paul to the Christians

The Apostle James, brother of Christ, to Christians dispersed:

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:19-21 ESV)

The Apostle Paul, to the church in Colossae, a populous city with diverse cultures all intertwined:

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:2-6 ESV)

Every Wednesday, I am simultaneously drained and strengthened. The best is always when my control is (unavoidably) abandoned, leaving all that room for Him to work. I'm keenly aware it's my words, my actions, my thoughts, of course. I just pray that it's God moving through me to display wisdom in speech and action.

"I've come to expect chaos," Paul (not the dead apostle, but a peer) said tonight. He's right. It's not something we believers refute: we have been explicitly told to expect all things to worsen in this world. To lay our expectant eyes on Him. That the Kingdom we yearn for is absolutely, definitely, not of this world. And yet, the mystery of the overture is so obviously amongst us...

We walked away with joy tonight. That is the mark of the Spirit, and for that I am so grateful. None of us wanted the outcome of Trump as our President elect (side note: surely, Paul was way worse than Donald Trump prior to his conversion!), but to experience community and compassion, the sharing of our sadness and stifled tears, we all walked away reminded of our unity and our ultimate Hope.

That is the glory we seek, and that is the glory we hope to be examples of.

FaithShawn Li