To love the way Jesus loves involves pouring yourself out for real people with all their quirks, faults, smells, and needs.
- Take that harried young mother in the doctor’s waiting room. Perhaps loving her as you love yourself means offering to watch the toddler while she feeds the baby.
- Take that person in line at the bank who is struggling to understand how to fill out the deposit slip. Loving him might mean stepping out of line and helping him get it straight.
- Take that next-door neighbor struggling to keep his marriage together, or the daughter who pushes your buttons every ten minutes, or that husband scared of being laid off — these are the ones who need the compassion and mercy that is at the heart of the RECKLESS LOVE of Jesus.
To love means risking being rebuffed or inconvenienced. It means we risk looking foolish. It means we dare to love that person, even if it wrings your heart with pain to do so.
Jesus expressed the core of his teaching when he spoke about a different way of life that was found in what he called the “kingdom of God.” He used that phrase to help people understand that the way his followers were to live was very different from the way they had lived before they met him. No matter what they were in the past now they were to live by the standards of the kingdom of God. Following Jesus meant that they were accepting a new citizenship in a new life.
Those who follow Jesus Christ today are called to do the same. Although it may not be our first instinct, love can become our way of living, our orientation and how we chose to act in all our relationships. Love is to be the hallmark of our lives as his disciples.
Grace and peace,