Ed Kvaale

Ed Kvaale

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I write this because of the important need for all of us who pledge our allegiance to following Jesus are called by Scripture to reject cultural trends that go against Scriptural teaching even as we love and pray for our community, state, nation, and world. During these trying times we find ourselves in we who are Christians look to take four actions Jesus did in his life and ministry. 1) We are called to exhibit a counter-cultural sacrifice; My freedom is very important to myself especially my freedom to assemble and worship when and where I choose and yet just like many churches did during the flu pandemic in 1918 I understood why we choose not to meet in-person for a time. Our freedom to do something must also be understood to mean that we care enough to lay aside our freedom to do something in order to put the needs of others before our own like Jesus did (Philippians 2:1-11). We are “free” to do something, but as Paul would say in 1 Corinthians 6 “Everything is permissible for me”--but not everything is beneficial”. There is still much room for disagreement, but we need to consider the difference between something we can do and what is beneficial. 2) We are called to exhibit a counter-cultural humility; Jesus died for us when we were yet sinners. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus. We have much that we need to learn and grow about our faith and we have much to learn and understand about the world and how it works. Let us have the humility to realize that we do not have all the answers. 3) We called to exhibit a counter-cultural patience and nuance; I struggle a lot with patience and yet what I have appreciated about gathering together again after several weeks of not gathering together in person is that our congregation is still a thriving community even when we are not all able to be together. I miss people who have not returned in person, although there are good reasons for why some have not. I am thankful for what technology makes possible for us to stay connected. I agree to disagree with some and they also agree to disagree with me. Let us be patient and compassionate with one another in those disagreements.  The inspiration for this devotional which I would also encourage you to read can be found at https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/church-dont-let-coronavirus-divide/

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