When we want to give up on someone…

This church has been under reconstruction for years, a de-formation, if you will. In reading the end of Exodus recently, I was reminded about the complexity of the Tabernacle. I remembered and connected the fact that followers of Jesus are that tent now. And that we are in a regular state of re-formation. For some of us that process is more difficult that for others.

Some of us are harder to get along with than others of you. Paul experienced this. He said to the Ephesian elders, leaders in whom he had deeply invested to help the weak.

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak…” (‭Acts‬ ‭20:35‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Earlier, he wrote to the Roman church saying: “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” (Romans‬ ‭15:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Decades later Ignatius of Antioch wrote to Polycarp and urged him not to give up on those like some of us who are harder to walk with.

“If you love good disciples, it is no credit to you; rather with gentleness bring the more troublesome ones into submission.”

We must keep before us the understanding that Jesus’ command is love: of God, of neighbor, of one another, and of enemy. He told us that our mark of being a disciple is our love for one another. 

That takes a decision. 

Please decide to keep loving those of us who are harder to love than others of you. 

We’re called to walk with one another in formation. 

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