The theme this week is expressed in the Psalm: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. NIV We need to remember that God made each of us. We may not live up to His hope for us, but he made us.
In this election year, we have already heard the two Presidential candidates slurred in terms suggesting they were made by Satan instead of God. We should reject those types of attacks because they do not come from God. We must accept that each candidate falls short of the Glory of God. We must concentrate on the facts that qualify him or her for the job and choose the one with the most positives and the least negatives.
Would Jesus vote in the election if he were living here as citizen? Such speculations are always a little risky. We know that Jesus seldom spoke of the government and never said anything bad about it. But we also know he talked about loyalty to God as the only way to live.
In today’s passage, Jesus made the case as strongly as possible by saying me must hate our parents. The Greek word for hate is miseo, which also means to love less. I think that is the meaning Jesus had in mind. His argument is: love everything in this world less than you love God.
Paul uses the same theme as part of his appeal to Philemon on behalf of Onesimus. By Roman law, Onesimus should have been executed for running away, but Paul argues that he became a believer in God and as such must be accepted as a brother. We do not know the rest of the story, if Philemon received him as a Christen slave or a free Christen, or if he had him executed. The fact that Philemon allowed the letter be copied and shared argues strongly for freedom.
Jeremiah watched a potter working clay and from that came to realize that God continues to mold us. Like Onesimus, we can turn our backs on our present conditions and face God.
Be righteous and do good.