As I was getting ready to leave the house this morning, I heard a story on NPR about rates of giving among the rich. Those that live in more diverse places tend to give more than those who are isolated from their communities.
When I began Morning Prayer, I read from Romans 8:1-11:
1 So now there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2 The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.3 God has done what was impossible for the Law, since it was weak because of selfishness. God condemned sin in the body by sending his own Son to deal with sin in the same body as humans, who are controlled by sin.4 He did this so that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us. Now the way we live is based on the Spirit, not based on selfishness.5 People whose lives are based on selfishness think about selfish things, but people whose lives are based on the Spirit think about things that are related to the Spirit.6 The attitude that comes from selfishness leads to death, but the attitude that comes from the Spirit leads to life and peace.7 So the attitude that comes from selfishness is hostile to God. It doesn’t submit to God’s Law, because it can’t.
8 People who are self-centered aren’t able to please God.
9 But you aren’t self-centered. Instead you are in the Spirit, if in fact God’s Spirit lives in you. If anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, they don’t belong to him.10 If Christ is in you, the Spirit is your life because of God’s righteousness, but the body is dead because of sin.
11 If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you.
I thought that I heard enough, then the quote for the day:
Contemporary writer and ragamuffin Brennan Manning has said, “The outstretched arms of -Jesus exclude no one, not the drunk in the doorway, the panhandler on the street, gays and lesbians in their isolation, the most selfish and ungrateful in their cocoons, the most unjust of employers and the most overweening of snobs. The love of Christ embraces all without exception.”
May we learn to embrace all.