Our nation is trillions of dollars in debt teetering on the brink of financial disaster. Racial violence is escalating in our cities and people are going to bed hungry every night in a country of super abundance. There is an increase in violence directed toward people of faith with churches targeted throughout the country. Almost 57 million babies have been aborted since the Roe vs. Wade decision. It seems that this country has lost its moral compass.
But never fear, an animal at the very top of the food chain, a brutal carnivore whom people named Cecil, is shot by an Minnesota dentist and righteous indignation rises and death threats fly. We, as a people, have lost out way.
So what now? What are people of faith, good conscience, and good will to do? Shall we retreat behind our stained-glass into a safe and secure world where all is well? Shall we ignore the injustice, the racism, the rampant greed and corruption all around us?
Or perhaps we should rally and decry these injustices. Should we march on Washington, go to St. Paul and demand the legislature right these wrongs? Shall we go in mass to City Council to insist they take action.
None of these ideas are new. They have all been tried before. Many times. How about a new idea? Pay everyone the same wage- and make it a good one. Even that has now been tried and guess what? It failed too.
It all seems hopeless. Whether we retreat or we protest not much seems to change for the better. Perhaps there is another way- more risky and much more dangerous. It is time to try LOVE.
By love, I don’t mean romance or sex or family. I mean God’s love that was demonstrated by our Lord Jesus when He became a man and died on the cross to redeem us from sin and reconcile us to His heavenly Father. It is the love that allowed Him to suffer a violent death designed to be pure agony.
The problems in our society can only be fixed if Christian people are willing to live, and if necessary die, in such a way that we visible demonstrate Christ’s love to all those around us. We must become less concerned with our own comfort and ease and more concern about the suffering around us and the needs of others.
We must become bridge builders between races and ethnic groups. We must be willing to use our own time talents, and resources to make a difference in the lives of others.
Real love is a messy thing. It makes us vulnerable to heartache, betrayal, and pain. Real love is not heard in words. Rather, it is seen in deeds and sometimes (as the early Church knew so well) written in our own blood. Real love is costly to the person who dares to love.
In his letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul writes that real love ‘is patient and kind; does not envy or boast; is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. (Real) love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (Real) love never ends.’
I’ve read to the end of the Book and I discovered that no matter how hopeless the situation or how powerful evil becomes when we come to the end of it all- LOVE WINS!
“Beloved, let us love one another.”