Greetings in the name of Jesus who invites us to live the way of love…
The love that Jesus and the Bible calls us to is not a warm fuzzy love that fills us with strong positive feelings of attraction toward everyone we are called to love. It may include some of that on some occasions but it’s not the goal of the Jesus way of love. The way of love that Jesus calls us to is the way of actions toward the other. Actions that are… kind, good, patient, tolerant of difference, non-judgmental, respectful, truthful, seeking to understand the other, gracious, forgiving, full of blessing, and are expressive of our desire for the well-being of the one we love.
This Sunday Lloyd will launch a 3-week preaching series on the words of Jesus recorded in Luke 6 in the ‘Sermon on the Plain’. They are hard sayings of Jesus that even go so far as to call us to love our enemies! Imagine that! What was Jesus thinking?
Jesus was onto something and offers teachings we so desperately need in our world today. The rhetoric rising because of this pandemic and its mandates, and the frustrations growing around freedom convoys and rallies, are two of the challenges, and opportunities, we face in this moment as followers of Jesus. How will we enter the conversations? How will be respond to our neighbours, and family members, that have different opinions than we do? How will we live our lives as followers of Jesus today? Will we walk, and talk, and post, in the Jesus way of love? Will we love in the power of God’s Spirt, in a way we could never love on our own?
I pray that we will live in the Jesus way of love! By God’s grace we can! When we fail, we will get up and try again.
12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lordhas forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) shared this prayer written by Ly Vang, one of the first members at First Hmong Mennonite Church in Kitchener.
God of all creation,
Today we come together in our weakness, with the desire of peace, unity and love.
Give us the strength to walk humbly with our brothers and sisters in humility and integrity so that we do not let the lies of the enemy to overtake us,
But help us to count ourselves as equals with one another, that we would treat and love one other the same way we do for ourselves.
Help us not to merely look out for our own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Help us to lives worthy of your calling.
Remind us to be completely humble and gentle; being patient, bearing with one another in love.
Help us to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Today we come to stand against the arrogance and pride that causes division. We say no to hatred, racism, sexism, war and poverty. We will not be afraid but rise up and meet every challenge and circumstances that come upon our lives.
We pray and trust in you to do all these in Jesus’ name, Amen.