“Be Aglow With the Spirit"
A Sermon based upon Romans, Chapter 12
In the 12th Chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans, he gives us a lot of good advice.
In verse 2 he says: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God...what is good, and acceptable, and perfect." It is interesting to be that in the verse right before that, Paul call this "transformation" (this renewal of your mind) "spiritual worship"
So when people rejoin their best thinking (the renewal of your mind!) together with the Spirit of God, a transformation occurs so that we become more than just what our experience can dictate. We are not "conformed" to "This world", but rather we break through to something new; we feel transformed, whole, healthy.
St Paul tells us to "let love be genuine! Love one another with a brotherly affection; and try to "out-do one another in showing honor" (That's a competition I'd like to see! Imagine our elected leaders, for example, trying to show one another more honor than they receive? Not to think of oneself more highly than we ought to think? Put a little self-control on our ego outbursts and avoid ad homonym attacks?)
The Apostle says that we should "never flag in zeal; be aglow with the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope; be patient in tribulation' be constant in prayer contribute to the needs of others; practice hospitality."
Paul sounds a ot like Jesus when he goes to say: "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them! Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty [all puffed up with pride], but associate with the lowly! Never be conceited." (I can tell you that that's hard for some narcissists & self -centered "high & mighty" personality-types to do!) It requires empathy, sympathy and humility.
St Paul tells us to "repay no one evil for evil, but take thought [instead] for what is noble in the sight of all. (!) If possible, so far as it depends upon you, to live peaceably with all." ALL! Wow - if everybody would start to do that, we would have "Peace on Earth, and Goodwill among all men & women" as the angles had sung at Jesus' birth!
The Apostle advises the Roman recipients of his letter: "so not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." He sounds very much like Jesus in all of that ! Especially when he advises : "If your enemy is hungry, feed him, If he is thirsty, give him drink." After all, Jesus said in Luke 6:27
I say to you that hear me, "Love your enemies; do good to those who hate
you; bless those who curse you; pray for those who abuse you...And as
you wish that men would do to you, so do to them!" Yes, that the