“And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds.”
One of the most understandable ways of talking about Jesus and his importance in the time of the early church was by comparing him to the High Priest, a Jewish role of great importance. The High Priest would go to God as a representative of the people out of love and protection for them. The metaphor falls apart if taken too literally because Jesus was not protecting us from God. However, Jesus’ incarnation shows us an embodied Way to be united to God. Central to that Way is the way in which we love one another and encourage one another to do good things in our world. The problem with complaining is that it is contagious. It fulfills the opposite of the admonitions of this text. It pulls people down rather than provoking them to love. It perpetuates negativity rather than goodness. We take on the Way of Christ when we let go of our complaining and take on gratitude. When we take on gratitude, it too can be contagious. How have you experienced the contagious aspects of complaining? How has gratitude been contagious this Lent?