If I have the gift of prophecy, can fathom all knowledge and mysteries, and have the faith to move mountains, but do not have love... I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
Last night we gathered together at our local parish and enjoyed the solemn, and beautiful Taize service. We gathered together not a signle denomination, but a family in Christ. There were Catholics, Methodists, Episcopalian, Baptists, and Protestants. It wasn't a lecture, or a chance to show case differences. It was a moment where God's children came together despite their slight differences and put that all aside, to worship God and marvel at his grace.
We prayed many prayers for many different people. From the clergy, to the missionary. From the politician to the student. From the blessed to the oppressed. We came together in the shadow of the Cross and worshipped our Lord God. We need to do this more often. It shouldn't be Christian against Christian. In public forums all to often the most vocal arguments are between two Christians, not even between a believer and a non believer.
We should be encouraging people to come to Christ, not discouraging. Not arguing over doctrinal differences, but praising the truth that Christ is our Lord and our Redeemer. I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. -Romans 16:17 We, the body of Christ, should not be divided. We should not be putting obstacles in each others way, only truth. Truth of the Bible upon which all doctrine, all faith, and all hope should be based. Minor differences should be set aside, and faith in Christ should prevail.
More especially, as a dear friend of mine said, correction should be of love. It shouldn't be a moment of public redicule or condemnation. It should be a moment in silence, aiding a reformation. Speaking to someone in private about God and what He wants for them. A moment of gentle reminder, and shared love in the burden of sin. We should be holding each other and weeping, holding each other and rejoicing! Hugging and giving one another a holy kiss! Grasping a hand in warmth and fellowship. How are we to be known? What is our instruction? Jesus said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34,35)
Are you showing love? Are you giving love to your friends? Your family? Strangers? Are you perceived as a man/woman of love in the community? Do people even know you are there? Do your neighbors know your name? Do you wave at them at the mailbox? When you're sitting in silence, praying to the Lord do you pray for good things for that person you just can't stand? That fellow that just gets on your nerves and is always in your way? Do you hug someone at church when you see them for the first time in years, letting them know you missed them? When you shake hands do you get it over with as fast as possible, or hold there hand warmly and look them in the eye? Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. -1 Corinthians 13:4
Insert your name in the previous scirpture verse and ask yourself, am I showing love? Is Brian patient? Is Brian kind? Is Brian envious or does he grateful that others are blessed? Is Brian boastful or generous in praising others? Is Brian proud or humble?
Easter is a time of reflection and a time of an examination of conscious. I pray that God will guide each of us to be more patient with our loved ones, our friends and those we meet in our daily lives. I pray that he will bring Kindness in our hearts and provide us with the ability to show it and eloquently lavish others with edification. I pray that God will provide me with the ability to see others as His children, and be happy for them when they have something that I do not. To give them encouragment and love. I pray that God will keep me humble that I may ever remember that I am only saved by His grace, and that all good things come from Him and not from ourselves. That God will keep pride and boasting out of my life, and allow me to interact always with love and courtesy.
In Christ precious name I pray, Amen