Your Morning Coffee 02/17/2023
Welcome to your morning coffee! May our Heavenly Father create in us a hunger to be regularly restored in relationship with each other. Father, this is not always possible, for there are times when we are willing, but others are not. Still, help us to remain willing to seek for restoration with each other. Help us to rejoice when our relationships are restored, through repentence and forgiveness. In the name of Jesus, guide us in such obedient living, that others would recognize in us a clean heart and right spirit, ready to run eagerly towards restoration. Amen.
Your Morning Song: "Holy Is the Lord" by Chris Tomlin
Your Morning Scripture: 2 Corinthians 13:11
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice!
Strive for full restoration, encourage one another,
be of one mind, live in peace.
And the God of love and peace will be with you.
For those of you whose whole house is carpet, just pretend with us for a moment. You've swept the dining room floor. You've got yourself a pile of dirt and debris big enough for you to feel good about, but not so big that you feel bad about it. And now you should take a dust-pan and sweep up that pile and throw it away. You turn to go get the dust-pan. But you stop. You turn back. You look at the pile. And then you look at the rug, close by. And then you make a choice.
Is this the scenic route to mentioning the phrase "sweep it under the rug?" Yes. Yes it is. But the ridiculousness of the image itself is made infinitely worse when applied to the verses above.
Having lived just enough life to have gotten this wrong, there is a phrase in the verses above that sticks out like a sore thumb, framing everything else written in a very particular light. Strive for full restoration. We, as obedient children of God, cannot sweep anything under the rug. We cannot be fully restored in relationship with each other if we are not dealing with our issues, our conflicts, our struggles. We may need to be patient and gracious if others are not ready to seek full restoration, but as far as we are concerned, we cannot sweep anything under the rug that divides us.
How can we rejoice as brothers and sisters if our relationships lie in ruin? How can we sincerely encourage each other if we are harboring secret grudges? How can we be of one mind with each other if we are sitting atop a pile of unresolved conflict? How can we live in peace if we grumble and gossip about each other? Do we think that our sweet Sunday morning fake smiles are fooling anyone?
If we are not living obedient, mature lives for our Lord, there will be no striving for any amount of restoration with one another. And though the other commands will be fulfilled, they will be only lip service. And very quickly the pile under the rug will grow, and grow, and grow. Until the best possible thing that could happen is that we would have sudden, explosive, volcanic conflict. The worst would be that nothing would happen at all. We would all sit on the rug atop the pile we've been relationally sweeping under it. And there we would remain, no rejoicing, no restoration, no encouragement, no unity, and no peace. And God, who will not leave, will hide Himself from us. And leave only a note that says, "repent."
But perhaps we have not been sweeping anything under the rug. What would that look like? Let's consider ourselves, both our individual habits, and those of our church. Are we rejoicing together? Are we constantly striving for full restoration with one another? Are we encouraging each other? Are we of one mind? Are we living in peace? Can we see God's presence?