Your application of the COVID struggles are lovely, Jennifer! You’ve already looked at ways to change some things in favor of relationships. I think that’s something we can all relate to in some way or another. Relationships to family, to employers, church, communities all recently experienced revision in some way. And we have a God who is all about relationship!
I really liked the point that Vince made:
I realized going back over this passage that this ancient book,
the Bible, is, in one sense, the antidote to social distancing. It’s been that antidote for
centuries prior to Zoom or WebEx or Zencaster, which we’re using right now, or or any
of the great platforms and technologies that were using to keep us connected today.
The Bible challenges our natural social distancing tendencies. We can put on a happy face on Zoom, but the Bible is the mirror from which we view our true self through the Holy Spirit. It challenges us.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13
But the really amazing part is, God loves me with an unconditional love eventhough I have a long way to go in my Christlikeness! Because He knows me better than I know myself, I can be frank and honest with Him.
And He holds out forgiveness, grace and mercy without throwing justice under the bus.
I recall a lecture from Michael Ramsden I heard about a year ago. He made such an amazing point when he said, “The world tells you that forgiveness is earned.” He went on to make the point that real forgiveness cannot be earned because it’s a gift, and it comes in the love of God through Christ.
Thankfully Jesus is not limited by closed doors, internet connection, or two arm’s length. He doesn’t air hug with His mask on, but rather comes to live in and with us.
As I was studying the Sermon on the Mount before all the lockdowns took place, I was moved by how different the world would look if we took these beautiful 2 chapters of instruction from the Lord and put them to work each day. It really calls us to an “other” way of thinking and living to die to self daily which can only make us better at relationships. This calls the Christian to courageous living.
But I take heart that I’m not called to perfection, but rather close relationship.