"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."
1 Peter 4:7-9
1 Peter 4:7-9
When I was reading that passage recently, Peter's instructions struck me in their context. I like to sometimes put myself in the shoes of the people reading the letter. It helps me to understand things better or in a different way.
Like, what if I received a letter like this:
I am writing to tell you something very important: the end of the world is coming! I have some instructions for you and it is really important that you follow them since we don't have much time left.
First, you need to pray like there's no tomorrow. To do that, you'll need to be clear minded and have self-control. Second, love people really well because love makes you willing to forgive others - and others willing to forgive you. Finally, share your home and your stuff and your meals with others. And, for Pete's sake, do it without complaining.
It's the end of the world as we know it and he wants me to invite people over for dinner? What about the instructions on what to stock up on? Where to go? Who to trust? How to plan for emergencies? There's none of that. It's pretty much: Pray. Love. Share. As if those are the most important things and the other things are just periphery.
And, that's just it. Those other things are just periphery because they won't last. Prayer, love and hospitality have eternal value. It is sound advice, when the end of the world is near, to focus on what will survive after the end.
I want to be better at offering hospitality. Not entertaining necessarily, though I do enjoy that, but I want to be better at sharing my life with others, meeting physical and emotional/spiritual needs. Not just theirs, but mine as well, because it does my heart good to share myself.
In a way, I guess this blog is me doing that in a way, sharing my life with anyone who takes the time to read it. If I could serve a cup of your favorite beverage while you read this, I would. And then we'd talk about all sorts of stuff, sharing with each other. And that'd be really cool.
But I need to do it offline, too, which is a little harder because I can't edit myself as easily. I have so many excuses... my busy schedule, my insecurities, my fear of rejection, my house projects, my messy floors. But, with the end of the world coming, those excuses seem pretty hollow in comparison to the urgency with which I ought to pray, love and share.