May 4, 2020

by Thomas Cunningham

Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:8-11
One day when driving home from my office, I heard part of a song by a Christian Rap artist, and the words were something like this:

We should listen to the words that Jesus said.
Do more of the things that Jesus did.
Love everyone in all of our ways.
Be holy, not just on Sundays.

That song struck me as a very profound paraphrasing of Jesus’s two great commandments in the New Testament. And re-enforces for me that as a Christian community, we should not just believe that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, but that we are called to follow His example and serve our neighbors, wherever in the world they may be, according to the different gifts that God has blessed us with. While the above verses are not quite as expansive as Paul’s words in Romans 12, they are a reminder of how we are all unique creations of God and we need each other to help fulfill God’s mission. Most likely, none of us have the energy, ability and financial resources to do everything, but everyone can contribute something. So pray, sing, donate, shop for a home bound person, cook a meal for a shut in, help a neighbor with yard work, call someone you have not heard from in a while and see how they are doing, or whatever you feel called to do.

While I have missed not being in the sanctuary for the last several weeks and seeing familiar faces, it made me realize that the church is more than the four walls of the sanctuary. It is the prayers, connections, mission work, outreach, and caring attitudes of all the members of the body of Christ that define who we are and whose we are. I can see this in all the different contributions to the online services and daily devotionals that are the ties that bind us all together in this period of isolation.
Dear Lord, thank you for all our many gifts and blessings. Help us use them to better serve You and all of your creation. Especially in these trying times. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009