The Way We Love
Loving Jesus is a daily decision to show and demonstrate the presence of Christ in our lives. During Connections Weekend in February, Scot McKnight called love a “rugged commitment.” It’s more than a feeling or a set of principles. Loving Jesus binds us to Him and his followers. Sometimes it requires a difficult climb over rough terrain to reach a safe space. At other times, love shows itself through our faithful belief in Christ as Lord. Through it all, we believe that Jesus Christ is a real person who continues to change people today.
There is no doubt that we live in a world full of darkness, but I would remind you that it’s always been this dark. Christians have usually responded to problems in the world by trying to feel closer to Jesus and withdrawing from nonbelievers. Jesus, however, seeks out fearful disciples behind the locked doors of that first Easter Sunday (see John 20) and sends them out by the power of the resurrection. He calls them to embody his love through action and truth.
That’s why we have the book of 1 John. In Jesus’s day, the Romans were just fine with your religion as long as you sort of kept all that to yourself. You could have a private, spiritual experience at places like Delphi or in the privacy of your home, but don’t dare take that public. Christ’s resurrection disrupts our privacy and places us on a course with a group of people that we would have never chosen to be with otherwise. Jesus bursts through the doors of fearful disciples and brings them together around his promise of new life. John testifies of this. This we have “seen, looked at, and our hands have touched.” This is a fleshy Savior who calls us to live our lives in community with others and show his light in the darkness. We draw others to that light by taking this light to people who normally would never respond. But we befriend them. This is the way of Christ. This is the way we love.