GOING OUT OF OUR WAY
In a conversation back in June with one of our Deacons, a phrase caught my attention about “going out of our way”. The concern was for those who find it hard to connect and find their place in community and the question it raised for me was who do I “go out of my way” for? When do I move towards a person who finds it hard to fit in, as someone who wants to engage, understand and quietly welcome them into a loving community where they might find Christ and their place in Him?
Peter, in his first letter (2:11-12) talks to us about the impact of “such good lives”, responsive to “the Truth so that you have sincere love” (1:22), with a capacity to “love one another deeply”. “Such good lives” can’t be lived in isolation and cannot be restricted - they will always find a way, (even with Covid-19 rules) to “go out of their way” to provide care for someone else. That can happen and is still happening – our Bushfire Recovery team are still “going out of their way” to engage and support people in our district who have faced and lost so much. God’s provision and direction, government agency requests and referrals have been amazing. Many of you are finding creative ways to keep in contact with each other. There is no short supply of opportunity to “do good to all people” (Gal. 6:10)
Perhaps the most subtle and dangerous attack waged in the “war against our souls” (1 Peter 2:11) is the preoccupation with self where our own comforts and wants overcome and occupy us. Jesus leads us into something richer and better, He himself went “out of His way” for us – He directed Peter to go out of his way to “feed His sheep and strengthen his brothers”. That has happened for you if you are saved and belong to Him – because someone in some way, (perhaps in many ways) has “gone out of their way for you”.
Go out of your way to “live such good lives among people who do not yet know Jesus that though they misunderstand what you do and why, they can’t help but see your good deeds and glorify God themselves because they experience His love and grace and salvation”. (adapted/paraphrase 1 Peter 2:12)
Blessings on the way together,
Michael & Lyn