The end of all things is near. Therefore … above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:7-8
The end of all things is near, so put your energy and passion into the one thing we have now that’s eternal — the reason why we exist — the reason why Jesus was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, died in Jerusalem and rose again outside of town — love. It’s all about love.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds. I just wrote the following to a friend: “I’m trying to write about love — the next thing Peter tells us to do because the end of all things is near — and I can’t get it. I’ve made three attempts so far and I’m missing it by a mile. Oh, I’m writing a lot of great things about love, but I’m not in it personally. It’s all at arm’s length. I can tell it, but mostly Marti can tell it because she knows me so well.”
Maybe I can look for some examples. “The end of all things is near,” so Marti spends two hours counseling a single women totally alone and depressed, and I start placing calls to churches in the area to get some physical assistance for her. That might be something about love.
“The end of all things is near,” so I put my work aside yesterday and went with my son Chandler to help overcome an issue with a trade school he is attending.
“The end of all things is near,” so get ready for Christmas and the members of my family who will need me to be out of isolation to be willing and able to take part and to love them.
And why do we love each other deeply? Because love covers over a multitude of sins. Whose sins? My sins. With my sins out of the way, I can be free to love. I’ve been forgiven, and therefore, for the first time, I can love myself. When Jesus told us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, He was declaring a psychological reality. You can’t love someone else if you can’t love yourself, and you can’t love yourself when you are full of guilt.
“The end of all things is near,” so step out of my isolation booth and into the lives of those I really do love to be vulnerable to the possibility that God is in me, loves me deeply, and will show up with or without me.
I feel a lot like Shel Silverstein’s poem where “V” is the only part of “LOVE” that could make it today, when God, who is all of “LOVE” is in me all the time, showing up whenever I am willing to make myself vulnerable.