Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
1 Peter 4:7-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. 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.
What is the ‘end of all things’ exactly? So much has been said about the ‘end’. One quick google search concerning the ‘end of all things’ or the ‘end times’ reveals a great deal of information. Little of it is helpful. Most of it speaks of, and insights fear. Many traditions of faith have various understandings of eschatology. Some treatises or confessions go into great length, taking up several pages. As Cumberland Presbyterians, our Confession of Faith (7.00) is quite concise, leaving some wanting for more and others feeling free from ‘too much focus on the end’, rather than the here and now.
In today’s reading, Peter might sound like a good Cumberland Presbyterian. Though he speaks to an ‘end of all things’ leaving many scholars with questions, Peter continues to say: “Above all (things), maintain constant love, be hospitable, serve one another with your gifts, speak as one speaking the very words of God, and serve (again) with the strength God supplies.”
Wow! Above all… serve! Why? So that God may be glorified in all things, through Jesus Christ! That is a charge if I have ever heard one. In a day in time where commercialism has wiggled its way in the covenant community, where publishers and speakers make their money (big money) off the fear of others concerning the ‘end’. We as Christ’s disciples have a responsibility to recognize that whatever the ‘end’ means, one thing is for sure… there is never a guarantee of tomorrow, or the way things are today, or the way we hope things to be. So, above all… Love, be hospitable, serve, speak, and do it all for the Glory of God!
God, who is the Beginning and the End, lead us to be a people who are not driven by fear, but rather led by faith in love and service to You and Your creation! May we not become distracted with ‘what is to come’ but live into Your gospel call today. Sharing Good News to all we meet, for Your glory and in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Go with God!