Tuesday, April 14, 2015

C'mon People...

A few years ago, The Youngbloods finished the phrase with, "Smile on your brother / Everybody get together / Try to love one another / Right now." It wouldn't be a bad idea for those of us who follow Jesus to take a closer look at this song and see if we can glean any wisdom.

The song begins with the words, "Love is but a song we sing / And fear's the way we die / You can make the mountains ring / Or make the angels cry." When you look at the very basis of Christianity, you find love. God loves us and he calls us to love others. All of God's law is summed up in the commands to love God and to love others. Love is the song we sing. Why don't we love like we should? Fear. We fear the other. We fear loss of face. We fear being taken advantage of. We fear any number of things that may happen if we love. So, we don't love. And, we die. As C. S. Lewis said, "But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable." If we love, God is glorified. The mountains sing. If we don't love, God is dishonored. The angels cry.

As the song goes on, we are told  that we are just "a moment's sunlight, fading in the grass." Our time here in this life is short, yet we tend to waste it on things instead of spending it on, and for others. We only get a limited amount of time to love those whom God has placed in our lives, yet we spend that time focusing on our interests and desires, building our kingdoms rather than building for the kingdom of heaven. As the song continues, we see that we "hold the key to love and fear / All in your trembling hand / Just one key unlocks them both / It's there at your command." We are the ones who are called to cast off fear and love. We are the ones who can love because we have the Spirit of the resurrected Christ in us.

Loving others is not an easy thing to do. It will be messy. You will get hurt. Nietzsche said that Christian love looks like weakness, and it opens us up to manipulation and abuse. He's right. Look at Jesus' command to forgive over and over again. Look at Jesus' statement that the greatest love was laying down one's life for our brothers and sisters. Look at Jesus asking the Father to forgive those who were murdering him in the worst manner possible. It does look like weakness. It does leave us open to abuse. But it is the way of the King and his kingdom.

Let us love as we are loved.

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