When we think about our church, different pictures probably come to mind.
Maybe the time you got baptized in front of our family comes to mind.
Maybe you think about Andrew Hicks standing on his toes as he strums his guitar.
Maybe you see the faces of those in your small group.
Maybe your nose curls a little as you think of the smell of Wunder Way sneaking into the lobby.
I hope when you think of the church, you also think of passion, compassion, love, and unity.
The Greek word for passion means suffering, an undergoing, an enduring. In light of this definition, think how that impacts the picture of “The Passion of Christ.” It’s odd to think of the church in this way: suffering, enduring pain. You might not be struggling or in pain, but your brother or sister next to you most likely is.
Compassion in the Greek means to be moved, to meet. As a church, we are called to love our neighbor, meeting and loving them where they are. Is our church showing compassion? Are we moved to act? Are you showing people love does?
Because of the cross, we have been united as one body; we are family and what I possess, you now possess. What you possess I now own, whether that be pain, joy, healthy community, a broken marriage, wealth, or sin, we belong to one another. This includes our failures, our struggles, our wins, and our joys.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. – Jesus, John 13:34-35
This type of love sets you apart and shows the world you have been with Jesus. The unifying bold love that we possess helps the church come to life. This unity, this belongingness, this love is what we need to be the church to the world. As a family, we cannot sit back and watch members of our family fail. You don’t have to be a pastor or get on stage. In the book of Acts, when Peter and John were on trial for preaching about Jesus, the council noticed “they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
Jesus didn’t call us to live in our own comfort zone. If that were the case, Jesus would have stayed in Heaven. Instead, Jesus had compassion on us and acted. He became a man and suffered for our sake. Jesus led by example and now calls us to meet people where they are and love them, have compassion on them. Who are you loving even when it is inconvenient? Are you going out of your way to share the gospel with someone?
That’s us, church!
We are normal people who have been with Jesus.
Let’s love God and love people!