The Call to Love - No Exceptions

"And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love."

We sing these words together each week after passing the peace of Christ with one another...
but what do these words following those actions really mean?

Perhaps, more pertinently, are we, Christians in the catholic (universal) sense, known as "the people who love", or have barriers to this simple definition crept into the vernacular understanding of Christianity globally? If you ask the world in general about how Christians are known, will you hear "Christians are the people who love radically", or will the response be considerably less flattering, more condemning of rigidity, judgment, and exclusivity? Are Christians known as people who will live together, in unity with one another even if we disagree on personal matters or points of view, or are Christians known for schism, dividing the "worthy" from the "unworthy", facing off between political values?

This particular honest look is a harsh light that shines on Christianity; it exposes those areas we might prefer to keep hidden from God. Surely, when Jesus told his disciples to love everyone, he was not talking about __(fill in the blank)________. We all have a {fill in the blank} that we would prefer the commandment to love did not extend to. Fortunately, we do not get to choose who falls within the commandment; as human beings, we constantly mistake which whole groups of people should or should not be included. What wonderful freedom we have when we realize that we do not have to be responsible for excluding - give that up to God. If we simply love all people regardless of wealth or origin, antecedents or circumstances, if we learn how to have honest conversations with one another, resolve to agree to disagree, and still live together in unity (but not static homogeny), and if we make a culture that radically extends love and acceptance, the power of love can heal a broken world.

What will it take for Christians to be known by how well we love? It means elevating those without a voice, without Facebook, Instagram or Twitter platform, someone who is just trying to put one foot before another day after day, and display radical kindness. Listen, find out what is on their mind and without judging, let them tell their story. Do this again, and again, and again. This is what it means to be known for how you love. 

~Rev. Andrea Joy Holroyd

SUPC PastorComment