I grew up hearing about the love of Jesus- a sacrificial love that paid the ultimate price for its beloved. Despite being surrounded by a context that constantly preaches the importance of his love, I didn’t really feel like I knew what it looked like to embody the love of Christ on a daily basis. The work of the cross is great, but what happens when you’re sitting face to face with someone who is hurting? What happens when you’re sitting face to face with someone who is an outcast? What happens when you’re sitting face to face with someone who has everything they could ever want and still feels alone? How do you embody the love of Christ then?
I’ve been learning a lot about the heart of Christ over the past year. I moved to another country where the name of Jesus is only a swear word and where churches are more like museums than houses of worship. I was uprooted from the community of faith I had known for so long and the comforts of a Christian culture were suddenly gone. The love of God quickly became something that needed to be tangible, not just abstract; practiced, not just preached.
As God has revealed more and more of his character, I’ve seen his heart for wanting to meet people where they’re at. He wants to meet people where they’re at so much that he sent his son to this earth to do incarnational ministry. It made me realize the importance of our incarnational ministry. It made me realize the importance of sharing meals with people and walking step in step with those who are far from God.
When you look at the life of Jesus and the people he spent his time with, it should compel you to go out- to dine with the prostitutes and tax collectors, to sit and listen to the stories of the refugees and the outcasts. Jesus loved in very tangible ways. He looked people in the eyes. He restored their dignity- the dignity that he created them with.
One of the running themes over my life for the past few years has been that of shalom- true wholeness, peace, flourishing, fullness. Shalom is something that we can only experience in Christ, and something that will only be made perfect in eternity, but that doesn’t mean we can’t tap into it now. I want to share the love of Christ with others because I want them to know Jesus. I want them to experience the fullness that only comes from him. I want them to know what it means to be his beloved. If we’ve experienced the goodness of our God, we should want people to see the face of Christ, to feel the heart of Christ, and to be transformed by the body of Christ.In the context I’m in, loving like Jesus looks a lot like being present. It looks like engaging in difficult conversations- hearing people’s deepest hurts and deepest longings. It looks like
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