So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 (NLT)
The love that we have for everyone on this planet, sets us apart. We love friends and enemies. The love that we are given freely from the Lord is manifested in this love. He loves everyone on this planet equally: the rapist who is never caught is loved the same as sweet Mrs. Candycane down the street who is loved the same as the drug addict strung out in the park who is loved the same as me who is loved the same as you. Equality in love. Isn’t that the best news. You can’t earn this love, this love is freely boundlessly given and cannot be earned.
So why can we not behave the same way as the rapist, Mrs Candycane and the drug addict: because we have made the step, we have jumped over the line and accepted that love. We have named each sin, asked for forgiveness for each sin individually and we have accepted that forgiveness. For some of us this is an instantaneous thing for others of us we have been almost Christians for a while before the penny drops.
The three people mentioned can also receive that love, if they ask, and they may or may not do. What they do and how they do it is not our concern ultimately and in saying that I am not condoning rape, taking drugs or being saccharin sweet. What I am saying is it is not our judgement call.
We can love the person who does something we don’t condone like drug taking but not love the behaviour. Everyone can know the love of God, all can be saved. We are called to love everyone, friends and enemies, because we have been shown the greatest love act in history. Jesus was crucified, endured a painful death so that we can be in relationship with God, we can bask in the glow of his love.
It is this love that we are freely given that allows us then to share that love, and although we must share this love, it doesn’t feel like a must, it doesn’t feel like an order, it feels integral to us, it feels part of us. It is a part of us, it is us.
We have been freely immersed in love that we freely immerse other is.
Isn’t it fantastic!