Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
(Ephesians 4:32; NIV)
Good Sunday morning, my lovely new followers! (and potential followers—you know you want to click that “Follow” button. 😉 Go ahead, I’ll wait.)
I’m bringing back the series “Sunday Morning Word,” because with all that is going on in the world today, we need a good remindin’.
Since the Hair’s election, I’ve been hearing a lot of reports of despicable harassment. Trump supporters are painting swastikas on dormitory halls where Jewish students lay their heads. Others are wearing blackface, chanting, “Build that wall!” and “Go back to your country!” to citizens who were born and raised here and only know how to be Americans. A black veteran was denied a free meal at Chili’s on Veteran’s Day. Come on, guys, we can’t possibly this cold-hearted and evil.
Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves. (Proverbs 11:17)
I’d like to think there are good people in this country. People who don’t just hate because someone looks different, or speaks a different language, or practices a different religion. It is times like this when I am reminded of Jesus and the Samaritan woman. While the Jews would have nothing to do with the people of Samaria, the Bible tells us in John 4:4 that Jesus instead had to go through Samaria. That He had to have this encounter with this woman. This woman, who is clearly a sinner—five husbands, and the man she’s with now is not even her husband (John 4:18)—comes to draw water from the well at high noon, the heat of the day, when no one else would be around to judge her, or talk down to her about her lifestyle choices, and she meets a man, the promised Messiah, who tells her everything she’s ever done (John 4: 29), who speaks of living water, that she will never go thirsty again (John 4:13-14), and leaving her jar of water behind, she runs to tell the people about this man (John 4:28-29).
Jesus tells His disciples to “open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35). There are people in this world who are thirsty for God’s grace. We can’t continue to be selfish and avoid them, dislike them from a distance, simply because they are different, or because they do things that we don’t like. God has sent us out into the fields to reap what He has sown, to evangelize and make disciples of His people. This life has never been about your or me, but it has always been about bringing glory and honor to our Father in Heaven.
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:36-38)
Christ should be our example; “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15). As followers of Him, we need to be that “light” in a very dark world. People are looking to us to be that example of Christ, and our actions will determine whether or not they will glorify our God in Heaven (Matthew 5:14-16). For God so loved that world that his sacrificed his only Son so we could all be saved (John 3:16). It’s time we showed that love to our brothers and sisters.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
I challenge all of you to be kind to someone this week, and to show them Christ’s unconditional love for them and every one of us. Happy Sunday!