Matthew 18:15–20; 1 Peter 1:13–24 (read online ⧉)
Once, an old warrior told a young man that the young man’s father was killed by a certain individual. The young man later confronted the certain individual and learned that the certain individual was actually his father. The young man then confronted the old warrior said that it wasn’t a lie, it was the truth told from a certain point of view.
There are many perspectives floating around at the moment. Most are carried with verve and vigor. Many are carried with pain. Many are carried with anger. Many are carried with fear. Many are carried in vengeance.
In the midst of chaos and strife, it is easy to get caught up in the emotions, especially the negative ones. People will often watch or other otherwise consume media that reinforces their viewpoint. This further entrenches the hearts of people, making the divides wider.
Right now, there are many paths being laid, and the sad truth is that each will walk a path, and there is little likelihood of reconciliation. It is not just our country, it is our cities, our state, our world. The saddest place of division is in our churches.
While we are going through the COVID-19 situation, to have the additional stress and strain of societal disruption (regardless of right or wrong) will result in hearts that harder then they were already.
There are cultural and societal sins at play. Individuals are not guilty of these sins, but they are responsible for them. We as ambassadors of the Heavenly Kingdom—where our citizenship rests—are called to be of one mind.
Being of one mind is hard, especially when we focus on all that separates us. If we were, for example, to focus on Jesus Christ, what Jesus has done for us, the freedom that he has given us, our ability to move beyond our earthly desires should improve.
This does not mean that sorrow, grieving, repentance, and reconciliation don’t need to happen. They, in fact, do need to happen. It is through these that the human walls between us are broken down and we can truly be united.
Lord, as our hearts ache and our tempers flare, grant us peace. As we look to the world in disarray and fear, give us peace. As the world seeks answers and healing, make us peace. Amen.
1) What do you plan to do to heal the rifts between fellow Christians?
2) As barriers grow, how will you lovingly break them down?