Lent 2023 Day 38: Thu 6 Apr
1 Peter 4.7-11
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
The early Christian Church thought that Christ would soon return– Jesus said he’d come again, and it was not unreasonable for everyone to think in human terms and imagine that it’d happen in their lifetimes.
Now that two millennia have elapsed, is the urgency of Peter’s statement diminished? Not at all! What Peter exhorts us to do and be so that we may be ready for Christ should he return today is still valid. Be watchful. Be Church to one another. Be of service to others.
This is, or should be, the Church today. Rather than isolate ourselves from the world so that we may remain pure and holy, and don our white robes in readiness for the return of Christ we are instructed to carry on doing what we should be doing. Who is lacking love or affection in your fellowship? Minister love to them. The sin statistics will go down! Who goes home alone? Invite them to your home. Do you have gifts that are corroding? Seek opportunities from God to use them. Think of bar stewards dispensing drinks but be stewards of God’s grace at the Bar of Grace and Mercy.
All we do should be with the purpose of glorifying God, from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night. Lord, turn even our dreams into worship and praise!
Every act of love, every dispensing of grace, every kind word, every meal we offer and share, every gift exercised, within the fellowship and in the world makes us nearer what a Church should be. A healthy Church is a Church that is ready for the return of Christ.
Does your fellowship have a watchtower?
Are there any aspects of your fellowship’s calling that have become comfortable?
How does your fellowship seek to empower those who serve?
What sort of conversations flow after your weekly meeting?
Father God, may your kingdom come on earth. I pray that you will inspire, refresh and empower each congregation and fellowship by your Holy Spirit so that we may be church to each other and to the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.