‘you will be known by the Love you have for each other.’ [Jesus Christ, john 13.35]

that’s almost very completely different from ‘you will be known by the lack of love you show to each other’

it blows my mind that this concept has been abused all over the world in many different ways by people quoting scripture ‘[or at the very least chanting ‘the bible says’ in response to any criticism] to justify things, that when lived out, don’t sound or seem or feel like Jesus very much at all.

in many of those cases it feels like people are not being intentionally misleading – they somehow really believe that that is what the bible is telling them to do – the dangers of holding a verse or even a passage by itself without trying to read it within the context of the story as a whole – without asking questions about the character and action of God and in particular this Jesus that we are called to follow.

it astounds me that people can read ‘if you want to follow Me, you must deny yourself and take up your cross daily and follow Me’ [luke 9.23] and then live lives that are very much about the opposite of self-denial, chasing fame and attention and material things and the lack of any kind of instrument that calls them to die…

i mean, it really does seem so easy to me [not to do, i find it rarely easy or comfortable to do, altho completely worth it] in terms of reading the story of Jesus and having some kind of understanding of how He wants me to live and who He calls me to be… someone who is known for Love, for Loving [even, and maybe especially, those i don’t agree with and even those who don’t share my faith – be reminded again of how Jesus responds to the rich young man who ultimately walks away and refuses to accept what Jesus is freely offering, but at a huge cost in Mark 10.21], for building up and for bringing hope and life and peace and sometimes simply a glass of water [Matthew 25]

may we return to the story of Jesus and read it and reread it and constantly hold it up as a mirror to our lives and our speech and our actions and our purchases and our treats and our celebrations and our missions and our conversations…

together, may we seek the Christ-following way as opposed to the way which just gives lip service to our King.

a last little point is that i left the ‘r’ out of the word ‘christian’ in the blog title on purpose, just as a little experiment, because i was curious as to whether anyone would respond with the correction of what i had done wrong, before even bothering to finish taking the time to see if i had maybe done something right [possibly the only reason i did this was because of the deep down fear in my gut – especially as someone who responds while reading something instead of afterwards, hm, i should maybe change that – that i would have been that person had this not been my blog] and the prophetic jab to the spleen of the question of which is our go-to place? pharisee, disciple, crowd or Holy Spirit filled child of God?