Some thoughts from my devotions the other day:
1 Peter 4:8 says:
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.
So much comes down to love.
So many times in Scripture, we're given a list of dos and don't dos - but more often than not, they're summed up in a call to love.
Not because we have to. Not because we agree. Not because someone loved us so they deserve it. Love. Because.
Love deeply - simply because we are.
I was reading the end of 1 Peter in the Bible, and I was struck with this sort of job description section in chapters 4-5. How we are to live and be as God's people. How elders are to shepherd. 1 Peter 5:2-3 says this:
Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, watching over them - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
Not because we have to, but because we are willing. That's how God wants us to be.
But who are we willing to love? And not just love - but love deeply?
As I write, I keep hearing the word "Nonquon" in my head and in my heart. I've written about this before - but when many people think of North Oshawa, they think of the university or the beautiful new homes that are constantly being built on our northern horizon. But in the middle of all this is the area around Nonquon Road, this forgotten little pocket of poverty. And I can't shake the sense that God has something beautiful in store for North Oshawa - and that our neighbours on Nonquon Road need to be included.
Are we in North Oshawa willing to love - and love deeply - our neighbours along Nonquon?
It's part of the reality of our larger neighbourhood. How can we as a church shepherd our brothers and sisters throughout our community, including our brothers and sisters on Nonquon Road? How can we love each other deeply?
Are we willing?
P.S. It's Giving Tuesday! It would mean the world to me and to those on my team if you would consider supporting us today. Click on the "Donate" link at the top of the page to give or visit www.crhm.org/abovegrant - just designate the North Oshawa Church Plant Above Grant, and sign up for either a one-time gift or become a partner with a monthly gift. Thanks for supporting what God is doing in North Oshawa!