Sing with me now! “Yes Jesus Loves Me, Yes Jesus Loves Me, Yes Jesus Loves Me, the Bible tells me so.” You may have heard the words to this well known song or maybe you have sung them yourself. It is such a simple song, a children’s song. The words saying something so easy to understand and yet so profound for those who believe the words they are singing. But can a person who is not a believer sing these words and have them be true? Does Jesus love those who do not love him back or those who do not love God (the Father)? Let’s go beyond that and ask the really tough questions. Does Jesus love people of another religion? Those people who worship a different deity altogether? Does he love the thief, the rapist, the abuser, the murderer, the embezzler, the fake faith healer?
Ok now let me bring it closer to the chest. If you call yourself a Christian, meaning you strive to be like Christ in your words, thoughts and actions. Do you love all those people I listed in the paragraph above? If not, should you? You see I don’t know what you would answer to the question of who Jesus loves. I don’t need to know what you answered. The question that really matters here is if Jesus DOES love all those people and you are saying you want to be like Jesus and wonder What Would Jesus Do then shouldn’t you love them too? Ok let’s say that now you have had a breakthrough and you love the extremely unlovable and people are starting to call you Jesus Jr. because you are so much like him. Do us all a favor and describe for us what loving these people would look like. You know, walk us through the day to day of a person who knows what the ‘J-Dog’ would do and who does it themselves.
I’m guessing that you would start early by making everyone breakfast because you love to serve. Then you would head to the old folks home to sit and pray with the sickest and those closest to death. Alzheimer’s, dementia, and arthritis, you’ve seen it all. Then you would drop by the prison to visit with the most hardened guilty criminals and to pray for them and talk to them and let them know that you have not given up on them and that you believe their life is not over and even if they never get out they can make a difference right where they are.
Then maybe you would walk the street of you own neighborhood and stop and talk to those kids who look like they are dead with the piercings and the pale faces, tattooed and smoking. And the gay couple you know lives 2 doors down. You spend a minute getting to know them as people and ask if there is anything you can pray for them for.
I wish I could say this describes me. I wish I acted the way I believe. But the truth is most days I have a hard time believing God loves me. But on those days when I let that idea settle into my mind and my heart I am often amazed at what love I am capable of passing on. I just hope others don’t judge God to harshly by what they see in me.