Thursday, January 28, 2010

Belonging ... but not without love

We belong to God - and to each other - all together!
But not at any price.
Not without love and justice and grace
Especially not without love.

"What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." (1 Corinthians 13:1)

Paul goes on - or if we had all knowledge, or if we gave up our very lives - if we do not do these things with love, they are not worth anything. I hear a primary commandment for our lives together - to love one another. It's not new - it's what we already know. But do we live it? And how?

And what if there is one among us who is not (or at least seems not to be) living in love? Does that mean they cannot belong?

What do you think?

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1 comment:

  1. My first thought, who among us lives in love all the time? Here is where I drop my stone and say yes, we all still belong. I think we need to be very careful judging who is worthy or not worthy of our love. Everyone is worthy of love because they exist, that is if it is truly love we are giving. What if God loved based on worthiness? WHo among us would qualify?

    But in saying that, and I am a fool for people much of the time. I tend to believe even after much evidence to the contrary, that people are basically good. Love should not be mistaken for approval for all things. Real love clearly takes time to correct, guide, and discipline at the appropriate times. Sometimes love requires us to step back and let go and other times it demands all of our energy to hold on for dear life. There is an art to belonging to one another that I do not think we can accomplish outside of Christ. Honest, pure, kingdom love takes faithful living. Belonging and allowing others to belong takes practice, constant practice. Sometimes I wonder which is harder, Loving, or being loved? Those belong together as well, I think.
    Belonging must be balanced, at least in theory. But imbalance does not relinquish me of my part of the belonging, which is to love. Kingdom living, it seems to me, is giving in proportion to my taking at least. Silence as often as I speak. Holding as often as I am held. Reciprocal living. Where there is no score being taken as to who did what last and whose turn it is to do whatever it is that needs done. For those who are not living in love, they have made a choice to not belong, which does nothing to the love I have for them when they return. Return to what? Home!

    The prodigal son made a choice to leave. However his choice had no impact on the love his father had for him. Upon his return love was shown in grand fashion. I think this is our example of what to do when people choose something other than love. We simply wait for their return and then we throw a party.