1Pet. 5:1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:
1Pet. 5:2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;
1Pet. 5:3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
1Pet. 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
1Pet. 5:5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1Pet. 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
1Pet. 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
You know how sometimes you get a new vacuum cleaner or a blender and it has two pieces of instructions? There is the manual that is 280 pages in four languages and tells you every single detail about your washer — including what parts cause cancer in California. And then, because they know who I am, they have the single sheet of glossy colored paper that says “QUICKSTART GUIDE” that is full of pictures and basically tells you how to turn the thing on and start making smoothies.
This passage from first Peter is YOUR QUICKSTART GUIDE to life in quarantine. Sorry it’s a week late, but I know some of you are just catching up.
Be Proactive About Leading the Family You Want to Be
If you want to start a practice of eating breakfast together or waking up for morning prayer, now is the time to start it. If you want to create some new habits of praising God for 5 minutes at the front door of the house every day at noon, do it! The only person in charge of your house that you have to check with is you. Try new ways of reminding one another about God’s love throughout the day. There is nothing like being in a bad mood at bedtime and your kid says “Jesus loves you a lot, Daddy.” You can make that happen.
Serve Your Sphere of Influence
Humble yourself and serve your family. Every single one of you is going through new stuff. Your next door neighbors and your mailman are all under new kinds of stress and change. There are plenty of ways to humble yourself and look for ways to serve them. I know one guy that walked down his street and shouted into a house “I don’t have your phone number! I want to call you to check on you but I need your phone number!” (They already had a great friendship before the quarantine. Don’t try this with just anybody!) They now talk every other day on the phone.
Jesus is Strong Enough to Carry Your Anxiety
But He won’t take it away from you by force. We put it on Him by taking on the needs and the care of others. As we submit to other people in service, Jesus siphons our anxiety away.
We can do this, team. Grab this Quick Start guide and look it over. Find ways to work it out in your households, in your workplaces, and yes, online at church. We can shine Christ’s light brighter than ever as people are looking for Him in the darkness.