Social Distancing?

As we continue in the theme of “Front Porch Fellowship Building”, we will take a glance at the new hot topic of “Social Distancing”.

I’ve known Social Distancing to be in action for a long time! I’ve felt the pull to distance myself from others. After a hurt that has become very painful, its easy to hide in the cave and dare someone to try and come into your space. I’ve witnessed pastors who have found the best way to avoid confrontation is to hide in the office, out in the woods, or on a boat. I’ve observed saints who felt the sting of rebuke and it has become easier to hide their feelings by staying away and licking their wounds. No matter what the situation, to that individual it is very real.  So, it becomes easier to practice distancing from others.

Even though social distancing has been around for as long as mankind…for Adam and Eve used it when sin entered into their lives…its still a fact that God will seek you out. Sure, there are consequences to our sin and rebellious ways but Jesus will example what he commands by always reaching to us in love.

Check out how Peter tells us to face the end…

1 Peter 4:7-9, “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”

If we could, instead of focusing on media and government mandates, simply focus on what Peter has prescribed..be sober, watch unto prayer, show fervent love, and be hospitable. Some actions are personal, but others go into the realm of focusing your actions to show love toward others. Interesting to see that charity covers sin. Love will turn a blind eye to so many of our faults. Love helps you endure my faults. Have fervent love among yourselves!

I continue to feel a call to “Front Porch Fellowship Building”! Social Distancing cannot stop this spirit of needing fellowship. This call is for our ASR members to not only make efforts to reach to one another but in your local assembly, and look for those who are starving for fellowship. Reaching out to the lost and dying world around us. God will reward us with souls and deeper friendships if we set aside time to “above all things have fervent charity”…to make it a priority to live in such a way that a firebrand of love burns in our soul to reach out to our brothers and sisters.

Though we may feel a need to keep others at a distance for health reasons, may love press us to call, text, message, facetime, send a card, or even pay a visit to another, for the purpose of encouraging them to keep on keep’n on! Our message is that the Lord is soon to return and the end of all things may be at hand, but love will carry us through the Gates of Heaven with joy!!

Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”  Though we may feel distant because of the miles between us, may we make this Scripture come alive in us.  Love at all times!  When adversity strikes…its our time to shine!

Social Distancing cannot stop Front Porch Fellowship Building when we have love one to another.

Mark A Hardin
International Chaplain/Illinois Regional Coordinator

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