This morning, the following verse struck me:
I John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (NIV).
Sounds nice (wait, what?).
It’s pretty basic… even fundamental… and yet I think we have lost sight of the significance of sacrifice in the name of love. I think, much like the expert in the law from Luke 10, we are asking, “Who are my brothers and sisters? Who is my neighbor?”
I think we are asking how far we actually have to go in order to (just barely) satisfy the requirements of the law. We want to justify ourselves, but that’s not what love is about.
Love is extravagant. Love is excessive. Love is asking, “How much can I give,” as opposed to, “How little can I get away with.”
The second question is more like tolerance…
No, it’s not even that.
The second question is more like saving face through the use of deception and façade. Seriously, why even bother?
Let’s not mistake inconvenience for persecution, friends. We are called to lay down our lives for the other. Love is about giving everything. And it’s about giving everything for the people with whom we do not easily self-identify, because, “us and them,” is a false dichotomy. The problem is not that people are diverse. The problem is that we have failed to recognize the Imago Dei as the core of who we all are.