Tuesday, September 7, 2010
"If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” John 10:37-38
Sometimes love is hard to detect. People who know each other well and who have grown up together and have lived together for a long time only show teasing and challenge to one another. They may not openly greet each other and warmly embrace. And yet love still exists. Attending a family wedding this past weekend, where we were in the midst of two radically different families and cultures, I saw first hand how love takes many6 shapes. Embracing and tears are the outward sign of love's existence, sometimes. And among others, slapping, dancing and heckling might be signs of love's embrace. That so many people showed up to this elaborate wedding, coming from so many far flung places and distances,is the works to focus on. People came because of love's prodding. The historical spats, the slights and the hurts, the confusion of culture and clan are put aside when love urges us, when love is the binding force among us all. We can put up barriers and love can take them down.
The religious community was angry and undone by Jesus' words and actions. He was setting the world as they knew it on its side. They were uncomfortable with all that was going on. They were led by fear and anger and not by love or compassion. So Jesus asks them to focus on the works - on the healing, restoration and transformation of so many - of God's love made present in so many lives. They could know God was working, even if fear and hate made them despise the man Jesus.
Today, despite the human challenges faced with the start of a new school year and church year, I pray that I might focus on the works of God's love made visible in my life. It is easy to overlook the common every day gifts and forget how extraordinary love really is in our lives. May we all give thanks for the love that surrounds us and impels us forward in the faces of challenges and strife.