Romans–Passionate Christian Theology
“Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.”
Romans 12, The Message
In a few hours eight grandchildren will come to our home for our annual Christmas Cookie Deco Day. The noise level will rise with silly jokes that will result in roaring laughter. Voices are raised so they can be heard over each voice vying for the attention of grandma and grandad, as well as each other. We laugh with our happy family. It is no use to calm this happy crew because we have just given them sugar to eat and to fling at concoctions of their own creation of Christmas joy.
This gathering is a microcosm of our world and your world of family, friends and acquaintances. We can learn from watching how cousins relate to each other. They will disagree but will make up in seconds because they love each other so much. They laugh with, not at each other. They will hurt with or even cry when one of them gets hurt. I have watched them in public places make friends with kids who others ignore. We are proud to be their grandparents.
Are they perfect? No, and we learn from that, too. They are humans in process of growing and maturing. They seek the attention of others…just like adults do. Do they always get along? Nope, but we are there quickly to help them resolve the issue. We adults are they same. We have the same needs. We seem to never outgrow our need to be accepted, to be known by name, to be loved unconditionally, to belong to someone or a group of someones. We are just more “sophisticated and sly” trying to fulfill these needs. We have our “adult” ways of putting others down, being stuck up, wanting our own way, demanding the attention of all others. Sigh. Are we a hopeless lot? No…
We need Someone to help us resolve our relationships, to guide us into reconciliation, to help us love more, to help us laugh more with our happy friends, to be happy when our friends excel at something…anything. We need Someone to help us feel the sadness with friends who are hurting so they know we are with them and will love them when they are down. We need Someone to help us get along with each other, laying aside our own interests and selfishness to see someone else in need. We need Someone to help us become more aware and really see those who others have ignored and come alongside them in relationships that just might help in transforming their lives. We need Someone to help us see that we are not the great somebody…only Jesus holds that position. The One and Only Somebody can answer this need that we have in our lives.
Dear Heavenly Father, Save us from ourselves and our selfishness. Help us to focus on You so intently that we see others through Your eyes. Then help us to laugh and cry because we love You and love others. In Jesus Name, Amen