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Posts Tagged ‘piety’

Hope and patience are partners. They are the ones who sit with us when we are waiting for the change to come. Hope implies change.

Romans 8:24-25
For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees? But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure.
[Amplified]

Chapter 8 of Romans is really quite mystical as Paul deliberates on all of creation waiting for the ultimate redemption when humans become like Jesus, when humans become complete and our own triune natures become truly One. How else would it be possible for the lion to eat with the lamb and “. . . they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” [Isaiah 11:9]

How else can we wait but in patience? We cannot make this happen. We can only do our small part in this age of transformation: give ourselves fully to the hope and walk today in faith.

In the Cursillo communities, they say our Christian walk is supported by a three-legged stool: piety (prayer), study (word), and action (works). I believe this too. But before, these three can take root, one must be sure that three other legs are in place: faith, hope, and love.

Piety, study, and action are disciplines and should be natural outgrowths of our faith and love. Our strength to persevere comes from our hope. It’s active waiting.

I choose to walk and wait in hope this day. Keep me mindful. Keep me in the moment.

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What is it about this word, “righteousness,” that makes me recoil? Surely it must be the other word: “self-righteous” that jumps up into my mind instead. But they are actually direct opposites.

Romans 1:17
For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.
[Amplified]

The thesaurus is most revealing for the word righteousness: devotion, devoutness, godliness, holiness, piety, reverence, sacredness, saintliness, spirituality, worship, zeal. These synonyms make more sense when Paul says that righteousness is revealed and springs forth from faith.

Faith is the roots of the tree and righteousness the growth above ground. As the tree grows up, the roots grow down deeper into the soul. The entire tree grows stronger and healthier. Both the roots and the trunk are needed for a healthy tree. They strengthen each other.

I think the self-righteous are those who have no roots. They are only concerned with the trunk and the branches of their tree. They have the appearance of righteousness, but it’s really only form, a skeleton. With the first storm, this type of tree will fall.

Over and over again, the tree image keeps coming back to me as a word picture for my life. My maiden name, Berzins, means “little birch tree.” In years past, I have planted many trees as a testament and thanksgiving for “place.” I have prayed under certain trees near the Susquehanna and found peace there. I had God-inspired visions and warnings of my life as a tree that had moved away from the living water. I am deeply grieved when trees are cut down nonchalantly or broken by wind and lightning. I am grateful for the trees in the woods behind our home. They are sources of beauty all year round from buds in the spring to full foliage in the summer, autumn rainbows, and skeletons in winter outlined by the sun that sets behind them each day. Trees are symbols for many faiths and beliefs.

Today, the tree is my personal symbol for uniting my faith with my actions. Amen.

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