We come from all walks of life.
We are male, female, young and older.
We are professionals, labourers, creatives, entrepreneurs and home-makers.
We are husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters.
We are followers of Jesus.
We are Christians.
But we are also human. We are far from perfect. We often get it wrong.
Often, very publicly.
And it bothers us. It bothers us particularly when ‘getting it wrong’ involves fear, loathing, condemnation or bigotry.
Often, we want to apologise.
We want to explain that the church isn’t like that, that it’s not who we were designed to be – the evidence of our faith should be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.1
We want to explain that Jesus didn’t discriminate against who he cared for, or who he loved. In fact, he was harshest with the religious elite, and those who should have set a better example.
But too often we keep our mouths shut, or our fingers still.
Yet, we are not called to apathy.
We are called to action.
The first action we are called to is, love.
Love is patient and kind. Love is selfless and forgiving. Love rejoices in the truth,
and never fails.2
God is love.3
We love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.4
We love our neighbours (and our neighbour’s neighbours).5
We love those who are least like us and most in need of Godʼs love.6
We even love our enemies.7
Judging people who don’t follow Jesus is not our responsibility or mandate.8
We share good news, peace and hope, not condemnation.9
We follow Jesus and his example, and don’t seek to make Him into our own image or an image of convenience.10
We are good stewards of the resources (time, talents, finance, relationships, planet) God has given us.11
We are outward-looking and out reaching.12
We communicate the love of Jesus through good deeds.13
We help, and advocate for, people who are poor, vulnerable, oppressed and marginalised.14
We do not withhold good when it is in our power to act.15
We do not put politics, nationalism or our own convenience before people or the outworking of our faith.
We are blessed in order to be a blessing to others.16
We desire to be known for loving people as Jesus loves us.17
1 Galatians 5:22,23
2 5 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
3 1 John 4:8
4 Mark 12:30&31
6 Luke 10:29-37
7 Luke 6:27
8 1 Corinthians 5:12, Matthew 7:1-5
9 Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15
10 Luke 14:27, John 13:15
11 Matthew 25:14-26
12 Matthew 28:19
13 Matthew 5:16
14 Psalm 82:3&4, Proverbs 31:8&9, Micah 6:8
15 Proverbs 3:27
16 Proverbs 11:25, 2 Corinthians 9:10,11
17 John 13:35