We Are Called To Love, Not To Cast Judgment
Many of us learned John 3:16 as children, beginning with, “For God so loved the world…” And in my mind’s eye, I still see little foreign children and masses of hungry people and hear that Great Commission to go. “The least of these” also conjures a similar image — people often beyond my daily reach needing love. So we pray and we give money and sometimes we do actually go into the far reaches of the world.
Yet sometimes, too often, we can forget that the world God loved enough to send Jesus starts right within our homes and our neighborhoods and our workplaces and our schools. Jesus invited all sorts of people — the outcasts, the poor, the wealthy, the cheaters, the sinners. And He added that we, His disciples, would be known by our love.
So how are we to respond? We can begin by squashing the lie that anyone deserves to be at the table with Jesus. He made a way because of His love, not because of our righteousness. And then, we can open our eyes to see each and every person we encounter as welcome, as paid for, as forgiven, as loved beyond all measure. Every person. We cannot exclude who Jesus included. We must not. We are called to love, not to cast judgment. We are called to draw in, not draw lines. We are to be known by our love.