Compared to other attributes we assign to God, cherishing has received little attention. It’s easily absorbed into the broader category of love. Yet cherishing is a specific kind of love—one the inspires deep commitment.
In Jean Thompson’s novel The Year We Left Home, Anita extends an impulsive invitation to a mere acquaintance, Rhonda. Their lives have turned out very differently. Anita enjoys a contented home life with her husband and children, while Rhonda has endured an abusive boyfriend for far too long. So Anita invites Rhonda to her home, and says she can stay as long as she likes.
Driving home, Anita contemplates the implications of her sudden act of hospitality.
The recipients of 1 Peter lived far off the grid of Roman power. A people with no social standing, they were deemed unworthy of defending. And yet it is to these people that the letter proclaims lofty praise.
In June a mob of hundreds of people brutally attacked a group of Vietnamese Mennonites, including Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang and 20 church leaders and Bible college students, who had gathered for a religious retreat. More than 300 plainclothes police and security forces stormed the host church at night under the pretext of conducting an “administrative search.” The pastor, known for defending the rights of Vietnamese minorities, suffered injuries to his head and chest and was left with broken teeth. For years, Vietnamese authorities have been accused of suppressing Protestants and other religious groups. These churches are prohibited from reaching out to children and evangelizing openly (Ecumenical News).