Monday, June 1, 2020

Church, are we Love or are we just wasting everyone's time?

Today this is not for everyone. Today this is for a specific people. 

This is for a people who say they have been set apart. This is for a people who say they were not meant for this world. This is for a people who hold holy words in their hands and hearts, who kneel at the bottom of a rugged tree, who said not my will but Yours. 

This is for a people who are speaking with their mouths out of which flows the truths of their hearts.  

Christians, we are called to Love.  We are called to Love wholly and fiercely. 

Is what pours forth from our hearts Love?

Love is clinging to good; actively hating evil. Love is mourning with those who mourn. 

It is not Love to ignore the plight of the oppressed for fear we will rock the boat. It is not Love to say, "I don't see color or sex or ethnicity or orientation" when people are suffering because of all of the blind eyes.  It is not Love to chastise the broken-hearted, to condemn them in their rallying grief. Love understands trauma. 

Love is powerful. It stands up straight and true with righteous anger when evil permeates the atmosphere. It walks with the fearful through their trials rather than mocks their anxiety. Love does not push the boundaries of those around it, but rather its own boundaries of self-sacrifice.

Love listens without trying to hijack. Love is a soft place to land, but it is not spineless. Love speaks up.

We are image bearers of God. Do we believe that? Do people see Christ when they see us? Do we see Christ when we look at others? Christ is Love, we say. But are we? Are we Love in our selfishness, our pride, our individualism? 

There are burdens to bear--are our shoulders heavy with Love? Or are there too many caveats? Too many lost causes, too many hoops to jump through. Are our shoulders heavy with the burden of Love or just the notion of our perceived persecution and martyrdom?

The world is watching. They are responding to our image-bearing. They are telling us they are not seeing Christ. They are telling us and we are content, perhaps even wear it as a badge of honor, because we were told we would be hated and outcasts and that must be what's happening here, right? So our Love remains hidden. Much too good to be wasted on this lot, on this mess. 

But we have been wrong. 

We have wasted time. 

We have turned away Christ in every missed witness. Turned away Love.

Love was broken and spilled out for us. That was the image laid out for us to reflect. 

Are we the people we have claimed to be? Are we the people Love reflects?

If not, what's the point? 

If we don't have Love, if we are not Love, then we're just resounding gongs and noisy cymbals. We've gained nothing. We could do everything else and still it is nothing. 

Cymbals and gongs and nothing gained and wasted time. 

Either Love pours forth or it doesn't. There's no in-between.