This week, feeling lost in a dark cloud of uncertainty, fear, and some degree of hopelessness about the intentions my fellow humans, the Sunday main service at Emmanuel provided a good reminder that we are commanded by God to love our neighbours, even when it's hard. Even when we're pained. Especially then. "Love, only love is His way." It's the constant challenge of a Christian, and it's a call we need to keep in remembrance. This doesn't mean we shouldn't fight (fairly and honorably) for justice, or ignore those who seek to do harm in the world, but in spite of it, it calls us to hope, to believe, and to love those we disagree with. To hope that the inherent goodness of all the Children of God can shine out from us, and them, like a light, raising up hope like smoke rising to the heavens.
Let the words of Luke Connaughton's hymn "Love is his Word" guide you, as I'm letting it guide me...
1. Love is his word, love is his way,
feasting with all, fasting alone,
living and dying, rising again;
love, only love is his way.
(refrain) Richer than gold is the love of my Lord,
better than splendour and wealth.
2. Love is his way, love is his mark,
sharing his last Passover feast,
Christ at the table, host to the twelve;
love, only love is his mark.
3. Love is his mark, love is his sign,
bread for our strength, wine for our joy,
"This is my body, this is my blood."
Love, only love, is his sign.
4. Love is his sign, love is his news,
"Do this" he said, "Lest you forget
all my deep sorrow, all my dear blood."
Love, only love is his news.
5. Love is his news, love is his name,
we are his own, chosen and called,
sisters and brothers, parents and kin.
Love, only love is his name.
6. Love is his name, love is his law,
hear his command, all who are his:
"Love one another; I have loved you."
Love, only love, is his law.
7. Love is his law, love is his word:
love of the Lord, Father and Word,
love of the Spirit, God ever one;
love, only love, is his word.