How many times have we left church wondering if we could do more, if we were really serving God and Jesus, or if we were just comfortable? It is so easy to say, I haven’t hurt anyone, I haven’t done anything bad, I sang and prayed with all my heart. Still, it feels empty, like there is more I can do. Can I go on mission trips to Africa, or work every week in homeless shelters? Can I knock on doors inviting others to church or bible studies? Sure, I can do those things. They are good things, but not necessarily activities we can all participate in all stages of our lives.
The Bible speaks of these kinds of grand activities, reminding us that without love they are useless, pointless, just noisy gongs. The most important aspect of any activity we take on has to be love. We are told to love God with all we have, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. The Parable of the Good Samaritan tells us who our neighbor is. Our neighbors are those that are around us, on this planet with us, and especially those in need. The Good Samaritan may have had projects and plans to help people in need, but what was important was that while he was travelling he helped a person. He helped the person he came upon, the person who was in need at that moment.
Whether we plan and participate in the big activities or not, what is important is living a life of love. When we walk daily in love we will see people that need us, and we will have the heart to help them. Perhaps all we will be called on to do is give a smile or a pat on the back. Maybe we will need to sit and listen as a friend or a co-worker pours out her heart to us. Perhaps we will have to put aside our growing list of chores to visit with another person.
How do we show love? We treat others as we wish to be treated. We go out of our way to encourage, listen, to care and to serve. We love.But, living a life focused on love, what good can that really do? When I watch the news I am easily overwhelmed at the cruelty and hate that permeates the world. How could one person, living a life of love, change the world? I don’t know, I really don’t understand, but I know it has happened and can happen. Love and change are possible. I am not called to change the world, but to change me. As I live a life of love I shine a light of goodness out to those around me. Imagine 10, 100, or 1000 people choosing to live a life of love. How do we change the world? We love