Yesterday, my husband and I attended a breakfast with a group of friends. We are a very diverse group, with one thing in common; we all own and enjoy Goldwing motorcycles.
This is the one thing that keeps us united and, although our bike riding season here in Canada has come to an end for the next six months or so, we continue to get together each month.
But as it is with any group of people who unite together, there will be differences; many differences. There are differences about what the best color is for the bike, which seat is most comfortable, should highway pegs be used, and so it goes; on and on.
There are certainly differences in our beliefs and lifestyles as spiritual beings as well. Some are Christians, others are not. Some are church goers, others are not. But one thing I think is vitally important, particularly for those of us who are Christians, is that we continue to love those who practice a lifestyle not acceptable for us.
Jesus set this example for us; those outside of our knowledge and belief simply don’t know what they are doing.
Forgive them Father.
Yesterday, at the close of the breakfast, as I went around wishing those I would not see until the New Year a Merry Christmas, I came upon a fellow Christian woman friend of mine, speaking to one of the men. I broke in, saying I wouldn’t see them until the New Year and wanted to wish them each a Merry Christmas. They wished me the same; idle chatter followed and then the gentleman began to speak about his recent vacation to Las Vegas. I listened, and as he spoke, I glanced over and noticed my friend making a face; a grimace; a frown.
I was embarrassed.
This lovely woman showed her extreme displeasure to this mans choice of vacation spot. Las Vegas, to her, is gambling and only gambling. Now I don’t know if that is what he did while there, maybe so, he didn’t speak of it, but her judgment and condemnation was quite evident and I couldn’t help but wonder how it made him feel.
He seemed a bit uncomfortable, but continued to share. The next time I turned towards my Christian friend, she had slipped away, unnoticed by me.
I share this with you this morning because I don’t believe our Lord would condone our poor manners; our lack of love. We don’t judge and condemn those who are outside of the church, in the hope to bring them inside. That method has been tried and doesn’t work.
That method keeps the church doors closed tight against others; it keeps them outside.
So, please, just love others; just as you desire to be loved….and accepted.
If I have not love, I am nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Love never fails.
As a child, I reasoned like a child.
I am an adult now, so I put childish ways behind me.
Now, I see but a poor reflection, as in a mirror; then I shall see face to face.
Now I know in part: then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.