Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Infected By Love

Infected by Love
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 There is nothing messier than love. If you grew up in a family with sisters or brothers, if you have a spouse, you know how messy love can be. Yet Jesus reminds us that “We are to be known – by our love.” What are we known for or by? Is it by our love? This goes for us as individual followers of Jesus and as a congregation of Jesus followers. Love is to be our identity. In this season of Lent we are invited to examine our lives and see if what we say with our lips is lived out in our actions. It is so easy to say I believe, but so hard to live out discipleship. I read this week from a book, Julian, Letters 22 by Wilmar C. Wright, about a conversation that happened in Rome.  “By their care for those in distress, the early Christians said to the Roman Caesar, ‘We will take care of your sick. We will take feed your hungry. We will shelter your widows. We will adopt and raise your children with  special needs. We will take care of your pregnant mothers.’” “By the third century AD, the fabric of the Roman society was transformed—‘infected by love,’ as one historian has said. Even the Emperor Julian, known by history as ‘Julian the Apostate’ because of his hatred of                  Christianity, conceded in a letter to his friend that the growth of the ‘Christian sect’ had gotten out of control    because the Christians took better care of Rome’s afflicted than Rome did.” What could our community look like if it was infected by love? Take a minute and think about all the other things of the world that infect us and our community. What if this messy love of God infected everything we did as followers of         Jesus? I believe this is what the season of Lent is all about, dreaming about God’s vision for us and for the world.  Reminds me of the old camp song: “We will work with each other, we will work side by side. We will work with each     other, we will work side by side. And will guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride. And ...They’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, Yes, They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” The cross and empty tomb are all about God’s great love for this world and everyone in it. It’s love that makes Good Friday, good. It’s love that makes resurrection possible for us. It’s love that Jesus commands us to live and be known. May this Lenten Season be our tutorial on being and living loved. Looking forward to our journey to Easter on April 1st when we join the world to celebrate the greatest love of all.  God, Infect us with your compassion & love. Let our devotion to you shine so others can experience your good news.  Amen

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