My dear friends,
Can I hit pause (again) on our important social dialogue to insert an intrinsically spiritual principle? My question is prompted by this thought: In what way can Christians add value to what's happening? Certainly, there is a compelling need to examine how we treat our brothers and sisters and no doubt new laws should be passed. Every person has both the obligation and the right to protection under the law; better governance should always begin with an examination of what's working and what's not. But ultimately there will never be enough civil laws to guarantee that people are treated equitably, with love and respect.
We believe that God has revealed how his created people should be treated; not based on human rights or fairness, rather they are based solely on His character. He communicated them in both word and deed. Concerning how we should represent Him He stated:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly
and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God
with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of
these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
The verses above are the most popular verses concerning loving all people out of the transforming overflow of God’s love shown to us. A simple application of these verses reveals that God has shown us that to love Him is to love everyone as He has loved us. We do this by walking humbly with Him so that we will know how to act justly and love mercy to everyone, everywhere regardless of … well, regardless of anything. God never withholds His love. No law compels Him, and no mortal sense of fairness or equity is needed when love is never withheld. His love was not limited to spoken or written words. He displayed his love in the most powerful and liberating action known to creation.
God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Therefore, the spiritual principle that I am hoping to draw attention to is that God has shown us, in word and deed that we are to love and care for EVERYONE. Divine Love is given regardless of any reason, any offense, prejudice or situation. It’s free and for everyone. No laws can secure equality other than the Law of Divine Love.
So, my friends, YES, as citizens of this country let’s contend for laws and needed measures to reform our failings to extend equality to all. Let’s also serve as citizens of God’s Kingdom to love as we have been loved by God, to examine our hearts for prejudice born from worldly wounds, and to extend our beautiful Savior’s work of love to every person we encounter. Let’s humbly walk in the Spirit with our God to do justly and love mercy for everyone.
We may boldly declare that today we will love:
Our brothers and sister of all color, creed and gender.
Our brothers and sisters deeply wounded by prejudice, injustice and hatred.
Our immigrant brothers and sisters.
Our brothers and sisters charged with enforcing the law of the land.
Our brothers and sisters who govern this land we live in.
Children in need of compassion and care.
The fatherless or motherless who long for family.
All of our brothers and sisters who feel abandoned by the church
for their beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender identity
Each and every one of these are important. Though we might disagree with some, we must never withhold our love and care.
Miroslav Volf, in his book A Public Faith: How Servants of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, writes: “The prophetic role of Christian communities – their engagement to mend the world, to foster human flourishing, and to serve the common good – is nothing but their identity projecting itself outward in word and deed” (p. 96). We should be concerned, not only with what we are seeing socially, but for what we should be adding spiritually as representatives of our God who loves all and sacrificed so much for them. Let’s do likewise.
Come on friends, let’s speak and live the gospel, let’s minister to everyone and let’s lay hands on our world with the miraculous, healing power of the Holy Spirit.