Try to do a survey. Ask your friends, whenever they think of Christians, what word comes to mind? I can bet you a Big Mac (or whatever high-sodium horse food you like) that most of them will say one of the following: Truth, Hypocrisy, Old-fashioned, Holy holy, Bible, Christmas and Church. A few of them may even say: Doctrine, Prayer, Jesus or Easter.
Only very few will actually say: Love, Compassion, Warmth, Gentleness.
Like most groups in the world, Christians are often known for second-best reasons. We tend to emphasize the footnotes and miss out the Main Point. And what is the Main Point of this whole ‘Christian’ thingy? Let’s quote a famous person:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Matthew 12.30-33)
Someone once told me that when a group goes trekking up a hill, it is only as fast as the slowest member. That makes sense. Likewise, I think our love for God, our genuine love for our God, is only as true as the love we have for those we love the least. If we can allow ourselves to HATE another person then – like the unfit team member holding the entire group back – we CANNOT truly love God.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they’re doing. Jesus said this whilst nails were being driven through his hands and feet. Love doesn’t get more real than that.
(Thanks Alwyn for this meditations)