Words by Colonel Jostein Nielsen.
The phrase “less is more”fits well in several settings. A vicar in the Norwegian church visited Jeløy Folkhighschool (1) when I was a teacher there almost 30 years ago. Addressing a large group of teenage students, he first shared some brief thoughts on how important it is to be gentle and kind to one another. Then he rushed to close with an even briefer prayer:
Dear Lord – If you still perform miracles, please make us kind! Amen
…and then he left the auditorium. I will always remember the effect of this simple, short prayer.
I think all human beings like when people are gentle and kind; so why then is it so difficult?
Is it because it takes a miracle from God?
The qualities are on Paul’s list of attributes found in Christ which will make our walk on earth worthy the calling we have received:
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
So simple, yet so difficult that it takes a miracle. I know that it takes a miracle, because I tried for several years to perform as outlined, and it did not work! So I gave up and stopped pretending and discovered that God has already performed the miracle. He has made the impossible possible in Christ. Like Paul, I wish I did not do things I do not want to do (2); however, there is still no condemnation in Christ (3) – because in and from Him there flows a stream of constant new life that comes with his gentleness and overbearing love.
‘Manna’ for today:
Thank you Lord – for the miracle!
(1) Jeløy Folkhighschool is owned and run by The Salvation Army in Norway
(2) Rom 7:19
(3) Rom 8:1