I began my morning thinking about God’s love. Thinking about the reality and truth that Abba Father loves us, welcomes us home and desires to see us experience what Jesus talked about as “life to the full.”
Recently a small group I was a part of began talking about grace. We talked about how we receive God’s grace and then are called to live out and express God’s grace to others. At one point I said, “For me it boils down to this…God loves people and so I am called to love them…even those I might not particularly like.” This led us into a long conversation about how hard it is to express love to people we might not particularly like. Some shared of how it felt fake” and “disingenuous”, others said they found it a difficult thing to do. We all (myself included) admitted it was not easy, even in the church and that it was something we needed help from the spirit to do if we were to begin to move with that attitude and spirit.
This morning as my day began my mind was drawn back to that conversation and I wondered… “Did Jesus ‘like’ the people who beat him, mocked him, nailed him to a cross?” Or, did he, filled with the Spirit, overcome the urge to ‘not like’ those people and love them with the love of Abba Father in-spite of what they were doing to him?”
Later in the morning my mind went to those times when religious leaders came out to trap Jesus, to get him to speak or say something that would turn the crowds against him. As Jesus stood before them and listened to their words, knowing full well their evil and treacherous intentions, he engaged them, spoke to them and loved them…even though he must have struggled with their behavior and how they were responding to him.
Just the other day someone gave me a picture of Jesus surrounded by little children. Children that must have come to Jesus like children in our day…dirty, with runny noses, full of germs and wanting to be touched, held and loved on. I will freely admit there are times I look at young children and find them very easy to like and to love. Send one to me with a full diaper, or with a nose oozing from a cold, or screaming simply because they can, and well, I can find a door pretty quickly. Yet Jesus calls us to love, to welcome, to embrace even those with full diapers, runny noses and those who have not stopped screaming for the last hour…in short…those I am not particularly fond of at the moment.
My day has been a day of disruptions…I have not liked the disruption…but behind each disruption is someone I am called to love as Abba Father loved me. My human temptation is to become annoyed…yet my calling, the high calling I have is to share the Love of Christ.
Abba Father, may your Spirit give me grace to see the people in my world as you see them…to love them as you love them…starting with myself. Amen