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As people of faith, we are called upon to live in a godly way, to exhibit the qualities of our God. Things get a little tricky, however, when we start to contemplate which God we mean. Is it the God of the ancient Israelites, who sets foliage ablaze and washes a sinful world clean by flooding it? Or is it the compassionate God of the New Testament, personified by Jesus Christ, who tells us the most important thing we can do is to love one another? I tend to side with the latter, but in life, I often fail.

In the Bible, God is often portrayed as a lion (or lioness). There is certainly fierceness there, and fierce love. But there is also fear. On the other hand, the Bible often refers to Christ as “the lamb of God,” a much meeker presentation. And we know “the meek shall inherit the earth.” Well, that’s all good and well. But can they get things done? If we’re choosing up sides for righteous change, are the meek really going to get picked first? I don’t think so.

There is a time for meekness, and a time to roar like a lion. There are times when love must be silent and tender and comforting, and times when it must yell and fight and struggle for justice. We are not meant, I think, to be merely one or the other. In the end, the lion and lamb must lie down together, in our hearts and in our actions, rising to deal with each situation as God would have us do.

Do I pull out the lion when I ought to be lamb-like? Sure I do. It’s time for me to cultivate my inner lamb a little more. Lord, grant me patience, and quiet my roar. Unless that’s just what is needed.

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Have a Mary Little Christmas

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