Hoping in Love

Majestic sunset as viewed at the Commander's Lounge of the Philippine Navy HQ at Manila Bay.
Majestic sunset as viewed at the Commander’s Lounge of the Philippine Navy HQ at Manila Bay.

As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  (Romans 8:36)

At first glance, this verse seems out of place and out of context with the rest of the neighboring verses but actually, when Paul wrote this, he was quoting Psalm 44:22. He was expressing how he felt about the trials and tests, the pressures and the challenges that he faced everyday as an apostle of Jesus Christ including the burden on his shoulders as he took care of all the local churches under his care.

Paul felt like he was “being killed all day long” and “accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

This can apply to us as well. Everyday we face all sorts of trials and tests, problems and difficulties — challenges in life that make us worry. It could be financial problems, marital problems, health concerns to name a few. It could be a relationship problem too and we feel like we are being “killed” and “slaughtered” “all day long.” Sometimes we feel like our burdens will never end as problems bombard us everyday. It seems hopeless and life seems meaningless.

But despite this seemingly gloomy picture in this passage of Scripture, Paul was actually encouraging the early Christians to hang on, endure to the end and never lose hope. This perfectly applies to all of us also today.

Why should we continue to trust and rely on God? Why do we continue to hope for the best? Paul explains why:

  • 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
  • 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
  • 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

Despite all our troubles and cares, God is with us. Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus. Let’s continue hoping in love. Trust in the Lord. He is on our side. He will carry us through. He will never leave us nor forsake. We will make it. We will come out victorious in the end because we are assured of his love in and through Jesus Christ.

Birthday Celebrations

Last night my wife and I attended a birthday party of our daughter’s classmate and friend. These two girls got to know each other since about 5 years ago when they were still in high school. They both love to draw and sketch anime and that became their common interest until now. Their moms became good friends too for a good number of years now and it’s interesting because we all get to see each other during cosplays, high school graduation, college events or birthday celebrations and the like. They get to visit our home and we visit their home too.

Animation and IT Students

Now that they’re both in college taking up Animation, their circle of friends have expanded to include more classmates and friends who also are into anime, cosplays, digital artwork and  video games. And we get to join these kids on some occasions like cosplays, school events or when they do their school projects at home.

The biggest Toblerone I've ever seen!
The biggest Toblerone I’ve ever seen!

My daughter seems to be enjoying her college life with her circle of friends and it’s good to see their friendly relationships develop over the years. And isn’t this what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all about? God is love. He is interested in relationships. He wants to have a relationship with each one of us. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit want to include us into their inner circle of friends. They want to include us into their life and love. They want us to enjoy loving relationships with them throughout all eternity. They want us to be happy with and among friends in loving relationships. Isn’t that great?

This love for friends—this friendly relationships come from God through Jesus Christ. It doesn’t originate from us. God shares his love to us that is why we enjoy friendships. That is why we enjoy relationships. God’s love is expressed through our ordinary human interaction with each other like getting together on  a birthday party or just spending time together. From before the beginning of time, it’s been God’s plan all along to include all of us—all of humanity—into the divine life and love enjoyed by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for all eternity. Isn’t that wonderful!

Attending a Debut Party

Last night, my wife and I were invited to the18th birthday of one of my nieces. It was a great opportunity to get to see my relatives once again on my mother’s side as I am not able to see them often.

Time really flies. It used to be that my cousins and I were the young ones—the teenagers. Now, we have become the elderly folks. Such is life. It was therefore a great time to get in touch with my cousins again and also to get to know my nephews and nieces who up to this time, I really don’t know much yet about them. I hope to get to know each one of them more and more as we get to see each other more often.

I was glad to attend Cheslie’s debut who turned 18 last night. She’s the only daughter of one of my first cousins, Luisa. It was a special night for her and we all shared in the joy and the fun during that night. Many of her classmates in Music and even one of her professors from St. Paul’s in Manila attended last night. It was great to hear them play music—piano, flute, violin and their wonderful voices. It’s different when music students and music lovers get together. They played all kinds of music like jazz including operatic voices. It became a great night of fun and great music!

Attending a debut party doesn’t always come my way and it was great to have attended one especially for one of my nieces.