Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
We’ve all heard it. What we truly need is love. Love for one another, our world tells us, will cause us to get over all the troubles we have with each other. It will boost everyone’s income, keep the economy cooking, end violent crime, get everyone to work together to find cures for illness, and probably unlock our unlimited human potential.
Sorry, that’s a false religion. It’s the religion of man. What love is our world looking for? Where are they looking for it? Look deep within yourself to find those resources.
The apostle Paul has a very different opinion. In Ephesians 3:14-19 we bow before God asking that God the Son, Jesus Christ, will be established in our hearts, thus giving us his love. Our love isn’t going to work. It’s broken, and has been broken since Genesis chapter three. Not that we can’t do some things that look kind of like love. But, on the whole, it’s broken.
If we want to have love working in our lives, we must be rooted and grounded in Jesus. Then he will show us how His love works. It is limitless. It casts out fear. It cannot be stopped. It gives forgiveness, life, and eternal salvation. It can even motivate us to love and serve our neighbors.
I admit I’m tired of the guilt trip that many in my society try to throw at me. If only Christians would act like Christians and love people they wouldn’t be the root of all the problems that have ever existed in our world. But if they aren’t going to act like the vision of love we have for them, we’ll keep screaming at them, trying to marginalize them in society, and threatening to eliminate them entirely.
Oh, that’s love? I must have misunderstood the way love is defined.
I’m going to keep looking for the love that is rooted in Christ, that has redeemed me from sin and death even though I had no merit of my own. I’ll look for the love that set me free to love and serve my neighbor. And while some of my neighbors are thinking of ways to be hateful to me, I’ll try to do good in this world. After all, that’s what Jesus has done for me.
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