As followers of Christ we are called to make disciples, and to share the good news that Jesus is offering forgiveness for our sins and grace to the world. So often when this message is shared, it is drowned out by messages of hate. Though it is our natural instinct to try to shout over the hostility, we must simply love more. In this case it is true, actions speak louder than words. In Luke 9:51-56, we see Jesus act with compassion even when having a door slammed in his face. Jesus and his disciples were traveling to Jerusalem, and passing through hostile territory. He sent messengers ahead to secure a place to stay for the night, but the Samaritan village turned them away. The disciples wanted to “call fire down from heaven and destroy them”, but Jesus rebuked his disciples and told them to continue traveling to a place that would welcome them. Instead of harming those who turned Him away, Jesus chose to continue on his journey.
That sounds easy enough, right? Share the good news and love more, got it! But what happens when it isn’t easy? What if there have been decades or centuries of distrust and pain? In that case, be an ambassador for Christ, as we are called to do in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” Mistakes may have made by both sides, but it is important to work towards forgiveness and reconciliation.
What about that one person, who gets under your skin? Simply love that person more, remember we are not better than anyone else. We are all in this together as stated in Hebrews 12:14-15 “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Because of this, you should pursue peace with everyone.
How can you show love to those that you don’t know? How can you tell them about our Savior? Be welcoming, be caring, offer hospitality and aid to those in need. As said in Matthew 25:38, when we help the needy we are serving our Lord. In these visible acts of grace and love we are able to share with the world the good news: that Jesus Christ has died for all of our sins, and he is offering forgiveness and grace to the world.