I am fairly new in my walk of faith. I still have more questions than answers. When opening the Bible to books like Eccelesiastes I still need to consult the table of contents. But there is one thing I know for sure, God is love. Jesus spent his time walking on the Earth loving, teaching love, spreading love. His greatest commandment was love. In Mark we are charged “Love your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all you strength” and then secondly “love your neighbor as yourself”. In 1 Corinthians- “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”. One of the Bibles in our home indicates words that Jesus spoke in red. The One sent to save us speaks of loving each other, commands us to do so. Those passages are in red, the color of love.
As a parent, I strive to raise my children to be compassionate and loving and faithful. I want them to grow up and give thanks that they were afforded this life we were given. And with that gift, comes great responsibility. A responsibility to be good stewards of our resources. To adopt a posture of humility. But above all of this, I want to instill into their souls the power of loving one another well. Not only the little people who share their breakfast table but the big people who live on the other side of the globe. Embrace those who resemble our family and celebrate those who don’t. Every person who walks this Earth has a story, a road they have travelled full of celebrations and struggles, through valleys and atop mountains. We may walk beside them for a moment, days or a lifetime. But we are commanded to LOVE them. Love them well. Like I said above, my faith is new but I have yet to find where Jesus commands us to judge another. Give us the liberty to condemn them or empowers us to discriminate against them.
But I’m not raising these little beings in a vacuum. (warning: personal political rant to follow) I am raising them in a state where you can turn on the TV and hear that our elected officials have decided we have the right to judge others and discriminate against them. In the name of religious freedom. In the name of Jesus. A business can refuse to serve an individual if their religious beliefs or who they love does not align with the owner’s religious beliefs. It’s a sad day in this state. And a slippery slope. It’s hard not to sink to that level. To pray that a Christian elected official is denied services by a Jewish or Muslim small business owner. Or when they stop for lunch at the local Thai restaurant they are told that their religious beliefs don’t align with the chef. But Jesus commands us to love one another. Loving these elected officials is not easy for me! But we must love and pray for them. Pray the Spirit of truth moves in their lives and they are motivated by what Scripture teaches us. Or at least that small clause in the Constitution where separation of church and state is laid out.
Where we do have power is in the wallet. As community members we can choose where we spend our money. I will teach my children we can choose to support love. In all kinds, in all places, in all ways. We will choose to financially support businesses that choose love. We will be good stewards of our resources, we will use those resources to celebrate businesses that celebrate differences. Since my religious beliefs don’t include discrimination.