Today’s Reading: 1 Peter 4:7-14
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Peter sure has a lofty goal for us, that we love one another earnestly. Clearly Peter never had any enemies and he certainly hasn’t met our enemies before, those people who are unworthy of our love. There’s a good reason why they’re our enemies and we don’t love them; all you have to do is ask us and we’ll tell you all about it.
Sadly, that’s not the way that it is supposed to be. God does not want us to love some and hate others. That’s not what Jesus teaches us in the Lord’s Prayer: “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” No, God wants us to love all people, despite who they might be and what they may have done. This is because of who we were: enemies of God. Paul tells us, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Since we are sinners, we know that we have a multitude of sins. What does God do with those sins? Does He condemn us for them? No, He forgives them, each and every one of them. He does that out of love for us, His creation. That is because He is our loving Father, and as our Father, God does nothing but love us, loving us to the point of the death of His Son Jesus.
We see just how much love covers our multitude of sins. They are covered in Jesus’ holiness and righteousness, so much so that God does not see our sins, but only sees Jesus. Every person, from all times and all places have received the forgiveness of their sins on account of Jesus’ death and resurrection. They are all people whom God has loved and for whom Christ has died. God doesn’t play favorites with regards to His love. If God has created them, then God loves them; and since God has created all, God loves all.
That idea of loving everyone is contrary to how we want to behave. God sees us for who we are: sinners in need of salvation. And because we are all sinners, God shows His love to all of us by sending Christ. That is the unconditional love that God has for us, and the same love which we should show others. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, grant us a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, a cheerful hope in Your mercy, and a sincere love for You and one another; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
-Rev. Jared Tucher is pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Farmers Retreat, IN, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Dewberry, IN.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.