This week I am talking about radical kindness, the kind of kindness that doesn’t count the cost. Kindness that’s bred in the bone as a follower of Christ. Kindness that you don’t have to think about, you just do.
When I think about kindness, a beautiful song comes to mind, by Steve Bell, whose uses lyrics by Brian McLaren:
Christ has no body here but ours
No hands no feet here on earth but ours.
Ours are the eyes through which he looks
On this world with kindness
Ours are the hands through which he works
Ours are the feet on which he moves
Ours are the voices through which he speaks
To this world with kindness
Through our touch, our smile, our listening ear
Embodied in us, Jesus is living here
Let us go now, inspirited
Into this world with kindness
p.s. Don’t forget that this week you can show kindness by bringing non-perishable food items for community care to church.
This week we are going to continue on thinking about what it means to witness to Christ under pressure. More specifically, we want to talk about what it means when people in our congregation take faithful stands on different things.
Are we fine with everyone taking their own path? You think the environment is so important, so you are very careful about your fossil fuel footprint. Another person doesn’t bother with that, but they think that supporting the education of orphans is good, so they focus on MCC. Yet another person is very consumed with supporting the spreading of the gospel to people who have never heard it before. They support the Bible Society and Gideons. Each of these people lives out their faithfulness in their own way; it’s likely that we can all do this cordially in the same congregation.
But what about places where our witness is more controversial. You won’t pay your war taxes, and you want other people in the church to sign on to do this too. Or another person feels called by God to save the unborn babies killed every year through abortion, and they would like our church to have a service devoted to this.
We walk carefully in the community of faith, understanding that God lays different things on our hearts. At times the community joins together in solidarity. We put certain things in our budget, for example, or we work together to sponsor a refugee family. Other faithful endeavors are undertaken in a more private way.
These sorts of issues have led to deep divisions and anger in the history of the church. Hopefully today, our guiding rule is the love of Jesus. We want our community to be made up of love. Love before us, love behind us, love beneath us, love above us, love within us. Love will find a way, even through disagreement.
This weeks’ prayer: God grant me the serenity to be faithful in the things you call me to do, the peace to believe that other people have different callings, and the wisdom to know how to negotiate our differences.