Summary: Philadelphia and Philozenia - luv em with His Love
Penetcost 14 Let Brotherly Love Continue, with help!
† In the Name of Jesus †
Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ!
The young musician, week after week, sits and observes the people. There is John, a bartender and wannabe actor; Paul, the workaholic author; Dave, a lifer in the US Navy; rushing from one table, to another, are the waitresses, perhaps with their dreams reduced to simply being rescued; and businessmen, either celebrating the big deal, or drowning their sorrows, as another week passes, without success. The manager smiles, for many have gathered to find some sort of refuge, some sort of sanctuary. Finally, there is the old man, who has lost his past, who asks the young musician on a Saturday night, “Son, can you play me a melody, I’m not really sure how it goes. It’s sad, and sweet, and I knew it complete, when I wore a younger man’s clothes.
Bottom line, as the young man sings, “they are sharing a drink called loneliness, cause it’s better than drinking alone…”
Compare that to another place, Sunday Morning at nine, rather than Saturday Evening. Are the problems so different? Don’t we have people that dream of doing bigger and better things? Of people who spend or spent their life in carreers, dedicated to protecting their fellow man and country, yet once that service is past, have fears and problems re-adjusting? Do we have people coming together, to celebrate the success they have had, or to find encouragement because of another “same ol” week of loneliness and failure? Yeah, we do. All of it. But there is something very different, here.
In both places, people gather from every walk of life, rich and poor, wealthy and financially unsecure. Full of joy, and in dark despair. Looking for fellowship, or love, or perhaps, both. It is easy to see from the piano bar stool, or from the pulpit. But there is something different here. There is hope…
As a kid, I had two dreams. Because of the song Piano Man, to be a good enough pianist to play in such a place and give people a break from life for a while. Or to be a pastor, and give them a different break from this life, indeed another life. There are breaks, and there are breaks….
We are a community of faith, the body of Christ, the people of God. And in today’s passage, we tasked with a direction, that will draw people here, to find that which they seek, whether they think they will find it, in the bar, or in their business, or whether they doubt they will ever find it again. For what they look for is here, among we who gather in His name.
The Challenge – Let Brotherly Love continue
Philadelphia & Philozenia
Those in Bondage,
Honor Marriage –
Don’t be greedy.. Romans called generosity a gift
As the author of Hebrews starts chapter 13, he uses two related words. The first is Philadelphia - which is a compound of adelphous, meaning brothers, and philo – meaning love. The second, which we are told not to forget to do, is often translated as “be hospitable to strangers”. The word there is Philo-zenia – zenos as in strangers, philo, again, as in love, or show love to.
We are to love those who come to us, as brothers, people we know and care for well, but we are also encouraged to love those who are strangers. The passage goes on to define a few people who meet those words, either brothers/sisters, or strangers.
Those in prison, or in bondage. We think first of those behind bars, but we all know people entrapped by their lives as well. Trapped in bodies that don’t function, or in situations where they seem to have no choice. A version of the golden rule applies- to realize we share in their imprisonment. We need to show love to those mistreated, those who literally are treated evilly. The implication is clear – if we truly share in their lives, then we should be suffering with them, attempting to relieve the suffering. As 1 Corinthians 12 encourages us
It gets more direct, as the writer commands us to look marriage as the holy gift it is, and to guard it, so that no one can tarnish, or corrupt, or turn that relationship into something rotten. I think, that in this society, marriage is no longer considered a honorable estate, a precious gift of God. Yet we know – from the very beginning, that is what it is meant to be. Yet the world would rob and cheapen it, promoting various forms of sexual immorality like pornography or championing sex outside of marriage, to those that wreck marriages in adultery, or in mistreating their spouses. We are called to treat marriage different, to hold it up – as God gives two people to each other, to be a blessing, and a joyous pleasure to each other.