Pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.
—2 Thessalonians 3:2
A police officer allowed me to join him for a Friday night shift. From 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. I saw the best and worst of human behavior (his best, others’ worst). At one point we spotted a vehicle that failed to signal. As we followed, it raced down a residential street and pulled into a driveway. We approached with the cruiser lights flashing. The driver crouched down, trying not to be seen.
The officer unbuckled his firearm and walked slowly to the car with his bright flashlight. He signaled for the driver to open the door. “Do you live here?” he asked. “Yes,” came a shaky reply from a woman in her twenties. “What’s the address?” he asked. She couldn’t say. “Get out, please,” he demanded. She couldn’t walk a straight line. She had put others in danger, so she went to jail. She wasn’t violent, but could have been. Until the officer placed her in handcuffs, he was potentially in harm’s way, all for the sake of his neighbors.
In today’s Bible reading the apostle Paul asks believers to pray for his protection, for he would often face dangers in sharing God’s grace and truth. As a witness for Christ, he had been persecuted and even beaten and left for dead.
Sometimes sharing grace or enforcing justice is risky and dangerous. But it can be a way to reflect God’s love. May we all be brave enough to show God’s love.
Lord God, thank you for all who serve to protect us from the dangers and evils of this world. May we seek to reflect your grace and truth. In Jesus, Amen.
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