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Three questions to live by

by davesandel on January 26th, 2021

Tuesday, January 26, 2021                 (today’s lectionary)

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops

Three questions to live by

Elsewhere Paul wrote, “Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things.”

And in another place he wrote, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul pursued truth in doctrine and truth in relationships. He sought to be true to his companions and true to himself. God his Father always treated him with grace and mercy, and as Paul could receive those gifts, they brought him peace.

Paul an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear child …

What say you, Timothy? How are things between you and Paul? That man can be quite abrasive at times. How do you know he loves you as the Lord does?

When I was just a wee little lad, Paul said to me, “Always ask yourself three questions about everything you have a mind to do: 1. What is it? 2. Is it safe? and 3. What can I do with it?

Margaret asks those questions with Miles and Jasper every day we are together. What is it? It’s a serving spoon! Is it safe? Unless you hit each other on the head. What can I do with it? Let me count the ways. You can bang on the floor, you can try to eat soup with it, you can stir the fruit salad, you can look at yourself in its mirror … what can YOU do with it?

I don’t think of Paul caring for two very young boys, not for long anyway. Timothy and Titus were adolescents or even older when he met them. God had found his way into their hearts and minds. But the questions still pertained. Sometimes they were the only thing they remembered, because Paul could get a little wordy sometimes.

Paul a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s chosen ones and the recognition of religious truth, in the hope of eternal life that God, who does not lie, promised before time began, who indeed at the proper time revealed his word in the proclamation with which I was entrusted by the command of God our savior … to Titus my true child in our common faith, grace and peace to from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

Only 89 words, and all of them dripping rich with meaning, but forgive Titus for losing track halfway through. Three simple questions to sift decisions could be very welcome. What is it? Is it safe? What can you do with it?

It’s a simple way to sift the Gospel, these three questions: It’s Good news. It’s not just safe, it’s necessary and brings new life. And I can receive it, rejoice in it and share it with everyone I meet in one way or another, especially with family.

Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom … Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.

(2 Timothy 1, Titus 1, Psalm 96, Matthew 11, Mark 3)

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