Living Together in God’s Time: November 27
By Steve Kalber
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12: “For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness.” v. 7
Reading 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 reminded me of the first house I bought. It was a 100 year old house in severe disrepair. Disintegrating plaster, ragged carpets, broken windows. It had been neglected and abused, a symbol of uncaring behaviors. I could have afforded a nicer house, but I bought it anyway.
The glaring imperfections certainly grabbed my attention and saddened me, but I wasn’t drawn to the house because of the mess. I saw the possibilities. The foundation was solid, the roof didn’t leak and there was hardwood under the carpets. The design was beautiful.
God sees that we are a mess and it saddens Him. But He does not come to us because we are imperfect – God comes to us because He sees our holy potential. God sees holiness beneath our flawed behaviors and offers his presence in the form of the Holy Spirit. We become renovated with God’s love and the love of others.
As God comes to us with all of our imperfection, I think He calls us to see others not as flawed, but as full of potential. Sometimes the ugliest among us have the greatest possibilities. It depends on how we, moved by the Holy Spirit, respond to them.
I never did finish restoring that old house. It always was a work in progress and probably, 40 years later, still is. At times I lost patience because the restoration wasn’t progressing fast enough. But when I paused and saw the beauty that had emerged, I felt good. The house had new life and so did I. I needed to remind myself that some things were beyond my control and that I had to be patient, to keep working at it and to keep believing. That was enough.
God, help me to be patient. Help me respond to others, not focused on their impurities, but with a sensitive awareness of the holiness that you place within all of us.
God, this is the day you have made.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may rejoice and be glad in it.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may surrender to you my agenda and to-do list.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may receive today your love from the ones you have blessed to give it to me.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I may share today your love with the ones you have blessed me to give it to.
Come now Lord Jesus, so I, all people, and all creation may be awake and ready for the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ, and the glorious end of days.