I am a meteorologist and a former youth leader at church…I have a lot to say on both subjects…and then some
Part of what I have been riffing on as of late is the whole grace vs. guilt, or mercy vs. sacrifice. Of course this all comes down to Love.
We are supposed to love…our God.
… our neighbors.
When I see the American Christian church as of late, I see more people, drifting back to what’s comfortable. That is to say, finding a set of explicit dos and don’ts that will make us acceptable in the sight of God. However, we have become so rigidly adherent to the “rules” that we call heresy, if someone tries to stray outside the lines and love someone that they have told that God has turned His back on. However, as I have now listened to the Bible for the 4th or 5th year, and the New Testament the year before that, I’m realizing that as Jesus said in Matthew 23: 15 15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. (NIV)
I have looked through commentaries, and despite the interpretations to the positive, we still try to exclude and push away those that that are marginalized. We as a country are drifting away. Not all of us, but this country was based on loving your neighbor. At least that’s what I see when I study history. We aren’t to judge others sins. We are to love them, and through that love, we are win them, so that they will continue to pay the love forward.
As I listened to James Scheer preach this week at church, I was reminded of this. He preached out of James, which tells us we are no better than anyone else when it comes to loving God. The image of cartoon that I saw a week or two before called “Coffee with Jesus,” kept coming up in my mind. We are to love everyone. It’s difficult. When we fail, we have to realize that Jesus died for us so that our failures aren’t counted against us. We have to move on, and continue to figure out how to love everyone.
image from Flickr.com:
My, my…you are doing some deep thinking, Jeff. Good for you. Keep at it.