Emmaus Lutheran Church of Ft Wayne, IN

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Love Covers ALL Offenses

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I have to admit I don't spend a lot of time in Proverbs. But today I was looking for something and came across this passage from Proverbs 10:12, "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses." Such a small verse, but worth the time to meditate upon. When hatred comes, when harsh words are spoken, when people speak ill of you behind you back or talk about you in ways that are in the kindest way, it can be easy to return such harshness in kind. However, when love springs forth as a fruit does from a tree, it brings something different.


It reminds me of the words of St. Paul in Col 3:13, "13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." Prompted by the love of God in Christ Jesus, out of His great love for us, His steadfast love that endures forever, we pray that God would give us the strength to answer hatred with love, even when anger, hatred or evil is directed specifically at us.


Despite all the hatred and evil that was mustered against Christ, He stood there and took it all, never returning a harsh word, never an evil offense. His lips were filled with words such as "Father forgive them," and His hands bore the marks of hatred, evil and sin poured out upon Him as He fully drank from the cup of God's Wrath for my sin, for your sin and even for the sin of those whose hatred stirs up strife. His love covered up all of my offenses, far to many for me to count.  But thanks be to God that despite the plethora of sins I have committed against my Lord, His love is so big that they were separated from me as far as the east is from the west. 


Through that precious gift given by Christ and the constant work of the Holy Spirit through the very Means of Grace may I be ready to share His love even in the midst of any hatred that does stir strife. It is not easy. It can be a very hard thing to do. I will admit I often struggle myself as a sinful human being, but as The Book of Concord states in the Apology, "Even though these offenses occur, love overlooks, forgives, and yields to them, not carrying all things to the extremity of justice." (Ap. V 121). The extremity of justice that I deserve was taken to the cross and by His stripes I am healed. Now that is a love that covers ALL offenses!

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  Emmaus Lutheran Church @ 8626 Covington Rd Ft. Wayne, IN 46804     260-459-7722   
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