Our scripture this morning is 1 Peter 4:1-8.

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. 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.

While Jesus was in the tomb, the disciples grieved and hid. Perhaps none were quite so devastated as Peter, who had denied in public that he had even known Jesus. It was a dark time as they asked themselves why the man they claimed as Lord and Savior had to die in this manner.

After the Resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples, forgiving and restoring Peter (John 21:15-19), calling him to be a leader of the believers and a voice for the Way. In today’s scripture passage Peter speaks to God’s children everywhere, encouraging them to give up the sinful behavior they have known and live a new life in Christ.

He tells us specifically to “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (v. 8), reminding us that whatever we may have done in the past is past, and Jesus stands ready to forgive us when we repent of our disobedience. We are all called to turn from our evil thoughts and activities and follow the path to eternal life that Jesus has showed us, sharing God’s love with everyone.

Gracious God, in Your mercy You sent Jesus to teach and save us. Bless us to be the disciples of today, carrying Christ’s message of hope and love to all the world. Amen.

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