There is an African proverb that states “If there is cause to hate someone, the cause to love has just begun.”
Why is it so hard for us to love each other?
If we pause to ask ourselves that question, but also frame it in the context that Jesus loves us just as we are-in our brokenness, our depravity, and our sinfulness-why do we struggle to love others at all?
What is it about the “other” that causes us so much disdain, contempt, and even at times, hate?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an extraordinary pastor exemplifying courage in the face of incredible personal danger, was killed by Nazi Germany for actively refusing to help the government collect and murder Jewish men, woman, and children. Bonhoeffer refused to let the prevailing ideology of hate decide his actions, even at his own personal risk.
He stated that “Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.”
Cheap grace is the grace we give ourselves to excuse our own behaviors and complicity without any accountability and responsibility.
While the scripture today from Jesus is clear that “we MUST love each other just as I have loved you”, I wonder if most of us really understand that it is far from a standard practice for many Christians in our country and world today.
The call from Jesus? The demand from Jesus? Loving each other just as Jesus has loved us without any of the denialism, bias, or excuses.
No cheap grace to bestow on ourselves as a soothing balm but instead extreme ownership, repentance, and acknowledgement to help begin creating something new and better out of genuine care and love for each other.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
We are meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11:00 a.m. on Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall.
Join us on the Second Sunday of every month for good food and good fellowship.
Military Appreciation Breakfast
Third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m.:
Veterans and Active Military and their Significant Others, join us for a hearty breakfast as we share our appreciation for your service.
United Methodist Women Monthly Meeting:
Third Thursday of every month: March 17, April 21, May 19.
United Methodist Men's Monthly Breakfast:
*Postponed Until Further Notice
Tuesday: 8-12 am
Wednesday: 8-11 am
Thursday: 8-11 am
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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