Monday, October 19, 2009
Loving God...Loving Others
We have been hearing a lot about Loving God...loving others at the Church we attend. It has been challenging and though provoking.
I am an ACTS community loving guy, and deep in the heart of my thinking is that one day, we will need each other in ways that go beyond what we can comprehend at the moment.
Not sure why I feel that, but for years I have felt like we are going to get to a place where it will be fellow Christians who will be helping each other out in radical ways, be that with food, clothing, housing, medical care. We won't have the ability to go to stores, hospitals, schools, regular establishments.
With the economical 'scare' that we went through this year...and really it isn't over yet, I wondered, is God shaking things up? Is he allowing things to happen to wake up His Church?
I can't help but think with all I am hearing about loving God and loving others, the radical call on our lives to live fully prepared to give it all up. I look at my own life and battle my fleshly desires and cry out to God to help me with my motives. So that my focus will be on furthering the Kingdom of God. My focus will be on others and their needs rather than mine and getting what I think I deserve.
Realistically my wife and I have had the hardest time so far with finances. We have been open and honest with our struggle and we continue to battle and face it on a day to day basis. Knowing that we could lose our house, we could lose it all, and yet, we continue to hope that one day it will get better. That one day it won't be so difficult and that this road too will become less rocky.
We have had to give up much to follow Christ and in doing so, it has given us a desire to help others who have given it all to run full on toward the cross. Do we really know what we are asking people to give up to follow after Christ? Are we prepared to serve and give to those who are giving it all up?
For my wife and I, we both were in same gender relationships and we both left significant financial assets to follow Jesus. We did it out of obedience. We also left friends, familiar people, family, jobs.
This weekend we spoke at a Gender conference and I was struck with the question? Do we know what we are asking those in the gay and lesbian life to give up? Do we have a concept? and are we willing to be the radical hands and feet of Christ to these people.
Today, as I sat listening to the life lesson, I was reminded of those in my life who walked it with me when I returned home. When I left my house, possessions, material security, my friends, my job, the familiar, and who allowed me to grieve those losses. They allowed my grief to sweep over me and sat with me in that grief.
I heard my wife speak this weekend of her own time of grieving, as she left the familiar, as she left those who called her auntie, and it broke me, as I knew she lived in silence. Fearing those in her community who it was unsafe for her to turn to. I ached for her loss.
Today, I sit in our home, small, old, in need of renovations and some fixings, I see the bills yet to be paid, wondering where we'll get the resources for that, I see our humble home, most of the furniture given to us, not fancy, yet it screams who we are. Because it really has been a community that has built this home.
We are grateful even in this, a time of struggle and hope. A time of radical trust in God and a desire to Love God and Love others. For we have been loved much, by our Heavenly Father, who gave his son to die for us...period...we have been extended grace, even when we didn't deserve it. So in this, we learn to extend grace to others.
I pray for the Body of Christ, that we would see the radical call on our lives to love God and to love others, expecting nothing in return. For if we do that and expect nothing, we won't be hurt when nothing is given back to us.
Lord be Lord! Give us strength, increase our faith, and help us to love!