This is not the sermon. Bishop George Wayne Smith is visiting and he will preach.
Love one another is the charge today. How well do we show Jesus' love to the world? I mean really show love, so that others see we and know us because of our love for one another.
It is dogging my steps this week, how to show love to one another. It is in encouraging others even when we disagree. We seem to forget we are Christians and we all believe in Jesus. Instead we want to keep in the forefront how different we are. Keep us separate and I'm more of a follower than you. This is not the charge Jesus is giving. Love is harder.
It is in being there for our children even when we disagree. Our children are sometimes wiser than we and sometimes dumber. They are still out child. It is how God is with us. How Jesus demonstrated Gods love throughout Israel. With the forgotten children: the sick, the sinners, the unclean, the lost. All of these he treated with love, healing them inside and out. Restoring them to community. If we listen we will hear the stories. We will know how we should demonstrate love.
I'm not saying we will do it perfectly all the time. I'm saying we have to even try. Putting up fences and barriers was what the Pharisees and other religious ones did. They were criticized for that. Even the woman at the well had it so engrained in her experience she couldn't believe a Jew would talk to a Samaritan.
Breaking down walls and barriers is what being a Christian is about. Every time we put one up we are not living trueto Jesus' charge of love. Love is not pie in the sky and mushy gooey. Love is hard because it asks us to ask harder questions of ourselves. It asks us to embrace those we don't want to and it asks us to go deeper into solutions for those who are forgotten. For our sisters and brothers in the church next door. For all the people who live by the tenant of making bridges instead of digging a trench. How will you show Jesus' love?