Pastor’s June Ponderings:

1 Peter 5:14 “Greet one another with a kiss of love. 

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”

Peter was a very close friend of Jesus.  He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus.  He was one of the three disciples who made up Jesus’ “inner circle” along with James and John.  In his first letter, he writes “one another” five times.  These “one another” texts reveal what it means to be a Christian in all ages.  So far, we have been told to love one another, live in harmony with one another, offer hospitality to one another and clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.

This month we are finally instructed to Greet one another with a kiss of love. Walther Gunther says, The kiss in the ancient world was both a friendly sign of greeting and an emotional token of farewell.”  I would liken the “kiss of love” to a hug in our contemporary culture.  A hug is more than a handshake, which both a professional or a casual form of mutual greeting.  A hug usually implies a friendship that is deeper than just an acquaintance.  

Obviously, two people need to be in close proximity in order to give on another a hug.  Recently, social distancing, because of Covid-19, has made hugging one another all but impossible.  During that time, I remembered how much I missed getting and giving hugs.  But then it came to me, in the crazy time in which we were living, refraining from hugging one another was actually an act of love toward the other.  And love is what is at the heart of Peter’s command.  So, the principle of showing love toward one another supersedes the practice of how that love is expressed during any given time.  Today, we no longer offer a kiss of love, but a warm embrace.   However, when Covid was at its peak, we refrained from touching one another to show our love to one another.

All said and done, these “one another” text have shown us how important it is to be connected to each other.  May the Holy Spirit continue to draw us together for our peace and God’s glory!

With a Warm Virtual Embrace,

Pastor Vern

Pastor’s May Ponderings:

1 Peter 5:5 “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 

“God opposes the proud 

but shows favor to the humble.” o 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Peter was a very close friend of Jesus.  He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus.  He was one of the three disciples who made up Jesus’ “inner circle” along with James and John.  In his first letter, he writes “one another” five times.  These “one another” texts reveal what it means to be a Christian in all ages.  So far, we have been told to love one another, live in harmony with one another, and offer hospitality to one another.

This month we are told to clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.  Clothes are coverings.  Christians ought to cover themselves with humility.  What does that look like?  Paul explains what that looks like in Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  What does it look like to value others above yourself?  It is to take off your own shoes and put on the shoes of others and then act accordingly.  

We live in a “Me First” culture, where we fight for our rights.  Christians ought to be counter cultural where we put “Others First.”  Paul says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: What is Jesus’ mindset?  He considers what we need, before His own needs.  He had every reason to fight for His right to live (he was truly righteous), instead He gave His life, so that we might live.  Just think of what this world would look like if everyone thought of others before themselves!  So, let’s try it on, clothe ourselves with humility toward one another!

 Humbly your brother in Christ,

Pastor Vern

Pastor’s April Ponderings:

1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Peter was a very close friend of Jesus.  He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus.  He was one of the three disciples who made up Jesus’ “inner circle” along with James and John.  In his first letter, he writes “one another” five times.  These “one another” texts reveal what it means to be a Christian in all ages.  Over the coming months I will be pondering these verses in the Kibbie News Letter.

Over the past two years COVID-19 has been a worldwide pandemic.  People have practiced self-quarantine.  Hospitals and nursing homes have not allowed visitors.  Restaurants and schools were closed.  People around the world were encouraged to exercise “social distancing.”  We were and are in unprecedented times.  So how do we “offer hospitality to one another” when being kept from interacting with one another?

Peter says we each receive gifts to empower us to serve others without grumbling.  Instead of pausing our serving throughout this pandemic, may God continue to help us to find new and creative ways to serve each other!  I have been encouraged to see how Kibbie Church continues to be faithful in serving one another over the past year!   Let’s continue to think outside of the box for new ways in which we might show hospitality to one another!     

Thanks for your hospitality,

Pastor Vern

March ponderings:

1Peter 3:8  Finally , all of you, be like minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.  On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

Peter was a very close friend of Jesus.  He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus.  He was one of the three disciples who made up Jesus’ “inner circle” along with James and John.  In his first letter, he writes “one another” five times.  These “one another” texts reveal what it means to be a Christian in all ages.  Over the coming months I will be pondering these verses in the Kibbie News Letters.  Why must we suffer for doing good?  Well, doing good requires a great amount of humility, which is to sacrifice our egos.  Peter addresses, “all of you” that means everyone!  To be like minded, sympathetic, compassionate, humble, and a blessing to those who hurt you, you have to set your ego aside.  To truly love one another, we have to put the interest of  others before our own.  In that, like Jesus, we suffer.  He who gave up his own life for the sake of others, is our perfect example.  Later verses 17 says, 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil,  18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”

May we “love one another” as Christ so loved us to bring us to God.

Loving You All,   Pastor Vern