I remember watching the musical Oliver and the child sings this song “where is love?” and it is really heart-wrenching song, the production I saw had written as a sign on the workhouse wall the words “GOD IS LOVE”, as the work houses at that time were very proud of their Christianity, but showed no little love for the people they served.
This is so at odds with the words of Jesus who said “by this all people will know you are my disciples that you love one another” and “Love one another as I have loved you”, “Love your neighbour as yourself”.
John the apostle writes in his first letter “God is love and those who live in love, live in God and God lives in them”.
Paul says “If I do not have love I am a clanging gong or a resounding symbol…” and ends by saying “If I have not love I am nothing”, talking about all the great and worthy things we can do in acts of service but if they are not rooted and grounded in love they are worth nothing at all.
Yet, why do our Churches often feel so unloving?
Philip Yancey’s quoted a young man wrestling with his sexuality in one of his books and he said “Sometimes it is easier to get sex on the streets than a hug in a “Christian Church”.
I know love can be expressed in different ways, but I wonder whether the people in our Church and our fellowships feel loved? Do they feel loved by us?
Perhaps there is something you can do to bless someone who needs to feel that loving touch of God?
Perhaps too, you can be part of re-writing a churches DNA, and living out a different life that loves and is gracious even when it really really tough.
For me, there are people I struggle to love in my Churches, and sometimes I find it almost impossible to give them communion, but when I feel like this I need to be reminded of how much God loves me -and I know I screw up and let him down loads-, which enables me to pass them the bread and the wine, knowing that (to quote George Herbert) “It is love that bade us welcome”…