Recently I combed through all our loose photographs and came up with some doozies of our children — photos of fashion-victim outfits, punk’ed hair styling, and makeup overkill. I began to send them out to the kids via email and text, awaiting their reaction. They were horrified. “Throw those photos away, right now!” “How could you let me out of the house, looking like that?” “Is that really me?”
But John and I love those photos. We love the personalities emerging in those moments of excess hair gel, extreme make-up and message t-shirts.
Love makes the difference in how we see each other — and ourselves.
In this Sunday’s scripture lesson, Paul gives us “before” and “after” photos of his life: “Even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence, but I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
Christ’s love opens Paul’s heart; he dares now to see himself clearly.
This Sunday we continue our sermon series, “Postcards on the Road of Faith.” We’ll study Paul’s little“postcard” to Timothy, what many call, “the best summary of the Gospel.”