By Miriam Rossow
I started watching because I love music and dancing. I started watching because I was in a show choir in high school. I started watching and reminiscing about my high school years; laughing at the self I remembered and saw in these characters.
As I continued to watch they pushed the envelop on songs that I was comfortable listening to. They pushed the envelop on social issues that I was comfortable thinking about or encountering. But I continued to watch.
As I watched I found myself being angry at exactly the people they wanted me to be angry with. The people who were being exclusive, biased, rude, and downright mean to the outcast and the different person. The Glee club was where people were being accepted and loved. Even if they didn’t always agree.
Now I understand this is a TV show and not real life. I understand the writers are portraying the best and worst of people. I understand the writers are portraying situations, thoughts, and actions to get me to see and feel a certain way. Maybe even their way. I understand it is fiction. And yet there is something very real.
People want to be accepted. People want to belong. People want to fit in. People want to “go where everybody knows their name.” People want to be loved.
And so as I watched I began to wonder why it is that people don’t find that kind of belonging, love, acceptance, and openness in the church?
Jesus said, “The first and greatest commandment is Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. And a second like it is You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
“This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
What is love? How did Jesus love us?
“Love is patient and kind. Love does not boast or envy. It is not self seeking. It keeps no records of wrongs. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
That sounds like acceptance. That sounds like what people would want. That sounds like a place people can find their hope and identity.
Jesus is love. Jesus encompassed and made flesh the love of the Father for His creation. Jesus was patient and kind. He did not boast or envy. Jesus keeps no records of wrongs. He does not condemn. Jesus never ends!
Jesus showed love in tangible ways by healing, teaching, bringing in the outcasts and laying down His life. Jesus is love.
What if our churches or our church people, those who are following Jesus, loved like Jesus loved? What would it look like if we loved without keeping records of wrongs? What would it look like if our love was patient and kind and did not boast or envy? What would it look like if in love we would bear all things, believed all things, hoped all things and endured all things? What if our love never ended?
What if our churches or our church people, those who are following Jesus, loved like Jesus loved?
Sounds wonderful. Sounds like what people are looking for and longing for. This kind of love sounds like the kind of love that would bring people together rather than divide.
Maybe it is too much to ask. Maybe this is not something we can give or accomplish. In fact, it seems pretty clear that we do not do this often! Jesus did and does!
It is not our perfect love that we share with others but the perfect love of Jesus. He is the love that unites. He is the love that binds us together. He is the love that allows us to find our identity. Jesus is the love that brings us acceptance. And He knows our name!
It is not our perfect love that we share with others but the perfect love of Jesus.
God is love. And that love is shown and shared in the person of Jesus. Walk with Him and share Him and His love with all those around you.
May ‘church’ be the place that Jesus called it to be. A place of love for all people. A place of forgiveness. A place that allows people to struggle with who they are. A place that points people to the true love, Jesus. And a place that lets Jesus’ love change them, accept them, and give them; us an identity that will never fade!