Being “provocative” carries many connotations. If a woman is “provocative”, it suggests that she is leading someone into thoughts and actions that are less than appropriate. If someone is accused of “provoking” a situation, it meant that person is stirring dissent or is the cause of difficulties. So it is refreshing to hear the writer of Hebrews using this word in a positive way: the invitation is to “provoke one another to love and good deeds”. This is about encouraging each other in living good lives. Instead of provoking anger, rage, dissent or unhappiness – provoke people into actions of love.
The question for today asks if we can, like those who read the letter to the Hebrews, push each other into ‘love and good deeds’?
Ordinary 17 / Pentecost +1039 God, Our Source of Hope
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 243.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.