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Speaking to the Soul: By Patiently Doing Good

Speaking to the Soul: By Patiently Doing Good

Week of Proper 6, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 119:97-120 (morning) // 81, 82 (evening)

Numbers 11:24-33(34-35)

Romans 1:28-2:11

Matthew 18:1-9

Today’s guidance from Paul’s letter to the Romans isn’t an explanation, a solution, or a comfort. Instead, it’s the proclamation of a path through confusion, through struggle, through pain. Paul lays out for us a clear choice between “storing up wrath” and “patiently doing good.”

We face this choice moment by moment, day by day, event by event. We face it in our personal lives as well as in the much wider spheres that we inhabit. To those who choose to increase their storehouse of wrath, Paul says this: “by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” But there is another way–a way to avoid the wrath that builds up in us before it rains down on us. Paul says, “to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, [God] will give eternal life.”

“. . . by patiently doing good.” It’s not glamorous. It’s not usually newsworthy. It involves our one-on-one interactions as well as our long-haul commitments to systemic change, to cultural transformation. It can erupt in moments of protest and impatience, but it ultimately takes patience . . . not in the sense of passive waiting, but in the sense of persistence and personal cost.

How will we offer our day and our lives to the task of patiently doing good? We could certainly do worse than to start with Jimmy Fallon’s recent wise words on “The Tonight Show”: “Keep loving each other. Keep respecting each other. And keep on dancing.” The reward for patiently doing good is nothing short of life itself, the abundant life that the heart of God has always longed to give us.

Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.


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