Friday, January 31, 2014

Loving? Really?

How big is love?  Who are we called to love? What does it mean to love people?  We had this discussion in Sunday school last week.

Joe was teaching, and I love how he started the lessons:  we are redeemed, and we are called to be redeemers.  What does that mean?

We would like to draw a line - I will love these people - these people who are like me, who I like.  Those people are easy to love.

But that's a line we cannot draw.

Ok, then, what if I say I'll love the people who are not like me, but who are different.  What if I love them, and that is where I draw the line?

That, too, is a line we cannot draw.

To be redeemers - to love everyone, means everyone.  Each one is sacred to God.  That means even the person who has hurt us, even the person who has hurt someone we love, even the person who we would call evil or negligent or hateful.

There are no lines that we can draw.

I don't like that, and I don't even think I'm capable of love like that.  But God is, and he will enable all of us to love like that, through his grace.

What does love like that look like?  I don't know.  I do think I know what it doesn't look like. It doesn't look hateful or spiteful.  It doesn't sound like revenge or spring from grudges.

Just a small example:  so often on Facebook I see rants and vitriol posted.  There has been a chemical link in West Virginia that ended up in the water supply.  It's terrible, and I hope someone is held accountable for it.  But when I read the posts people have placed on Facebook, I am disturbed by the hatred I see.

Also, when I see people post political statements, or responses to them, I often see good people posting nasty statements, so much so that I want to block their posts.

Love.  We love those who are lovable, and we love our enemies.  It doesn't mean we ignore the sins they have committed, but we at least respond to them as people who have been forgiven.

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