9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. 11Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ 20No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
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Greetings to a second edition of "Holy Manners: A Lenten Devotional following Paul's Letter to the Romans." Given the current crisis of the Covid-19 Pandemic, I have decided not to try creating a whole new content for this year's Lenten Devotional, but rather to refresh, digitize and illustrate our first devotional. We no longer have Elders, but a Governance Team. We have also added a prayer roster of our members and adherents. However, the lessons to be integrated from Paul to his followers regarding Holy Manners are as timely for us today as ever.
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Love in Christ,
Rev David Cathcart
January 19, 2021
Holy Manners are not just about being polite. Holy Manners are an expression of how we choose to follow the way of Christ. Holy Manners often require a change of heart so that we can reveal the love of God in our daily interactions. Holy Manners are a gift of ourselves, placing the needs of our community and the ones we love above our own ego-needs. Holy Manners come from a place of humbly remembering the grace God first showed us. In creation, in promise, in reconciliation, God has dealt with us more graciously that we could ask or imagine and so we respond in gratitude. Holy Manners are informed time and time again by scripture as the Gospel writers and Paul call us to Christian behaviour.
Paul’s letter to the Romans has been my primary source for developing a devotional meant to instill, and deepen a sense of Holy Manners. Following Romans 12:9-21, I’ve selected seven themes related to Holy Manners: Let Love Be Genuine; Rejoice in Hope; Be Patient in Suffering; Persevere in Prayer; Contribute to the Saints/Serve One Another; Live in Harmony; and Humility. I’ve then chosen 40 passages from Romans that I feel inform those seven themes.
6 Days a week, I recommend doing lectio devina or sacred reading on the selected passage for the day, recording in a journal any insights and personal prayers. Details on how to do lectio devina or sacred reading follow. After doing lectio devina¸ I recommend sitting for a few minutes in centering prayer. On Saturday, I recommend reviewing your journal entries, noting surprises, learnings, prayers answered and prayers unanswered. I also encourage praying for the individual Elders by name at least once a week, if not daily.
In the back of the devotional, you will find several tools: a more detailed description of how to do lectio devina, a more detailed description of centering prayer, a Loving Kindness Meditation, and the List of Elders, Staff, and Volunteers for you to hold in prayer. Know, that I have been, and will be, holding each of you in my prayers daily.
Love in Christ,
Rev David Cathcart
December 19, 2017