Staccato Meditations

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Romans 12:9-13

Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. (v. 12)

As a young person I loved playing my trombone in a band. I loved music with a solid beat – marches, presto movements in overtures, fanfares. The staccato notes were fun to play. Staccato notes are separated and short, each one distinct from the notes around it.

The apostle’s teaching in these five verses from Romans 12 sounds like staccato notes. As Paul describes the transformed Christian life, he offers a number of individual imperatives, each one complete in itself and moving forward to the next one.

Each command included in today’s passage deserves a meditation all by itself. For example, Let love be genuine: that is, be sincere in your living so that your acts of love do not appear forced or fake. Rejoice in hope: that is, no matter what happens to you, you can always rejoice because when all is said and done, you know that Jesus will turn all things to his ultimate victory and your ultimate blessing.

Spend two or three minutes today meditating on each individual staccato note in this passage. Ask yourself how each one applies to your life right now. And pledge yourself to recall each command as the need arises in your life. Better yet, commit these rich verses to memory.


Dear God, thank you for each of these commands. Help me to live my life accordingly. Amen.