Stretched-out Love

Peter told the Christ followers living under the tyrannical reign of Nero that they were to love one another with an intense (stretched-out) love (1 Pet. 4:8). It’s when our love is stretched that our strengths and weaknesses are revealed. It’s when our love is stretched that the maturity or immaturity of our faith is revealed.

A stretched-out love refuses to give in to the enemy-making machine (a la Fitch), holds on to compassion, stands with the hurting and vulnerable, resists the labeling and backbiting, forgives the insults, and chooses love when love is hard. It’s in these moments God shows himself strong and gives us supernatural strength to love with a stretched-out love.

Our love becomes resilient.

But if we quit, cave in to the enemy-making machine, ignore the suffering, pain, or rage of our brother and sister because we don’t prefer it or flat out dismiss it, we will possess a love that when stretched, breaks.

Over the coming days lean into the strength God supplies (1 Peter 4:11) and choose to love with a stretched-out love.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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