Can you imagine how this could change the world? That was the question I ended my message with on Sunday. After working phrase by phrase through the Apostle Paul’s description of what love is, I couldn’t help but ask “What if?” In the 13th chapter of his first letter to the believers in Corinth, Paul explains to them that love is patient, love is kind, love is humble, it seeks what is best for others. It is not easily angered. Love forgives. Can you imagine how it would impact our relationships, our families, our workplaces and our communities, if every one of us actually loved one another with the kind of love that Jesus has shown us?
We are living in a world where many are not patient, are not kind to one another, are not humble. We are living in a culture of offense where people are quick to become angry and slow to forgive. In our world, people are often more concerned about themselves than they are about others. But what if we could flip that narrative? From its very beginning, the Christian faith has been a movement of love. This was the example Jesus gave us. Love is at the heart of the writings of Paul, John and others. Love IS the movement.
Every movement starts somewhere. What if this one started with us? By us I mean you and I, our church, our community. Can you imagine the difference that would make, the impact it would have, if we genuinely treated one another with the kind of love that Paul describes in this passage? It would be transformational. It would be revolutionary. So here is my idea. Let’s begin in the most natural place. Lets begin in our families; our biological families and our church family. In our homes, with our families, let’s treat one another with extraordinary patience, kindness and humility. Let’s be slow to become angry and quick to forgive. Let us love our families as Christ has loved us.
And in our church family, right here in Rock Church, let us display the radical love of Christ in how we treat one another, in how we speak to others and how we speak about them. Let us choose to live unoffended. Let us be a people of extreme grace. After all, that is what Jesus has done for us. Let us build one another up in love (I Thes. 5:11). Let us support and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we could truly one another with this selfless love of Jesus, not only would it be life changing to each of us, but it would be irresistible to those who do not yet know Jesus. There is nothing more winsome, more invitational, than a body of believers who truly love one another.
I pray that our whole family, each and every one of us, will be together this week in worship as we continue our series “Love Is . . . “