May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
2 Thessalonians 3:5
The verse above appears to be a blessing bestowed upon the church of Thessalonica by Saint Paul.
I need both of those blessings. First to be guided into God’s love and then to persevere like Jesus, especially in 2022.
Like you, I was hoping we were done with COVID after the vaccines became available. Not that it would prevent COVID entirely, but that it would minimize another massive wave of infections. Unfortunately, the new variant meant new infections. Yes, I naively thought this would mostly go away in the new year. I am weary from all the illness and COVID related death we have experienced in our church family.
Sidenote: I am so thankful for the vaccine and the countless scientists and researchers who helped make this a reality. I understand this would be a lot worse without vaccinations.
I need the same spirit of perseverance that Jesus employed to finish his mission to forgive and reconcile humanity. It certainly took a great deal of persistence and determination to die prematurely for our benefit. Jesus followed through so that we might gain the Kingdom and be claimed as forgiven children of God.
I need that same perseverance to move forward and not retreat to my bed and pull the comforter over my head and say to Rachel, “Let me know when it is all over.”
Yet, I know there is work to be done. Important work. Work that has eternal significance. Last week, I told everyone who worshiped with us, “You will encounter someone this week who needs this church.” Not just this week, but every week. That thought gets me out of bed in the morning, in spite of the struggles we are facing.
Paul also wrote that he hoped our hearts would be directed “into God’s love.” It is easy to become cynical which leads to a lack of perseverance. Love makes all things possible including how we live in society. If we cease to care, everything falls apart.
No matter what the year brings, I am not giving up…with God’s love, we will persevere and share the love of Jesus to this city and beyond.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.