“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
1 Peter 4:7-10 NASB
Our country has been locked away for months as we have sought to avoid a virus. We have been separated from one another and are living in our isolation. As our country is opening up, we are taking wobbling steps back out into the lives we once knew.
In cultural realm there has also been a quarantine of sorts, as hearts have been locked away, much longer than a few months, but for generations. Rather than the fear of a virus, we are fearing the reality of the hearts within us. We try and use distance to help us to keep the symptoms of the virus that has infected our hearts from not showing. We think that the separation will keep the symptoms of the virus from being brought into the open.
“If I can only avoid those people..” in reality we are hiding from our sin. We hope that by hiding away, we can feel as though we have no sin, no bias, that we are not part of the problem. In earlier times, the law, or Ten Commandments, was given to the children of Israel. It was not meant to save, but to serve as a “schoolmaster “, to show them the sin that was in humanity. Over time people of the faith tried and tried to live according to the Law, but failed. Ultimately, it was the atoning death of Jesus that made it possible for humanity to be holy.
In this time of great strife, we are facing a new schoolmaster. We are being confronted with an old problem of racial bigotry. It is a problem that has infected the entire country and the world. It has affected everyone. We spend great time pointing fingers and laying blame, or we deny complicity and pretend that there is no problem. Like the children of Israel, we attempt to deal with a spiritual problem with secular methods and we fail.
Our old method of quarantine is no longer working as the population shifts. There must be interaction, people must bump against each other. One can build suburbs only so far away.
I go to church every Sunday. I have to admit that I go for fellowship. I have matured enough that I no longer go to be taught. I need the fellowship for God to do the practical work in my heart. I bump against a wide variety of people, many of whom I would likely not encounter in life. In the place called church, the Lord refines me and makes me new and improved.
I have learned that love most certainly covers a multitude of sins. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I am able to love those that are different. I show kindness and hospitality. I don’t do these things for the my personal betterment, but for the furtherance of the Gospel. I want nothing to hinder my witness. What I learn in church, I apply to life.
When i consider the world we are living in, I see great potential in sharing the message of the Gospel to a world lost in sin. The problems that we are facing can not be solved by legislation, lawsuit, or legal ordinance. It is on the spiritual level. It can only be settled by God.
There is great need for the love of God to be present. There is great need for people of faith to enter the fray and demonstrate how love truly covers a multitude of sins. In overlooking the slights, we can see each other beyond the fog of war. Love brings clarity. I think of the love chapter: I Corinthians 13:
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB
Love never fails.
Love is the vaccine, where hate is the virus. In a state of love people look out for each other. We go about considering other people before ourselves. Peace prevails. Humanity has tried everything to overcome hate, bias and partiality to no avail. We war on.
Believers, pray for opportunities to show the power of love. Pray that the Lord eradicate all bias from your hearts. I will tell you that it is a daily battle. In my flesh, much of what I hear comes into my sensory gates through a filter of past experiences. I hear something, and part of me wonders what they really meant by that. I must let the heart of love capture it and run it through the Jesus filter.
Our world needs Jesus! May we not only proclaim the Gospel and the love of God, but may we live it.
The Lord is giving us this time as a schoolmaster. I hope we learn.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!