THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
How do you measure faith – by a lack of doubts, or by the ability to do amazing miracles, or by a life of health, wealth, and happiness? Should we even worry about measuring our faith? Doesn’t the idea of measurement only lead us into legalism and competition? These are important questions, and they need to be faced honestly. Jesus calls us to bear fruit, and he gives us some clear guidelines to determine how fruitful we are becoming.
It doesn’t take long, when we read the New Testament, to realise that Jesus does not measure faith by miracles, certainties, or even purity. For Jesus there is only one measure of the fruit we bear – love. Those who are growing in faithful obedience and intimacy with Christ naturally become more loving. When we are close to Christ, we cannot help but become like him in values, priorities and behaviour – which means that we begin to make loving others in practical, life-giving ways our primary focus in all things. This is why the Lectionary keeps coming back to the call to love.
What is very clear this week is that love for God and love for other people are not separate. Rather, our love for God is revealed in the love we have for others. If we do not love those around us, then, no matter how much we may claim to love God, our faith is empty. This love is not a feeling, or a set of words. Love is anything we do to bring joy, peace, safety, wholeness, and welcome to others.
This week we will, once again, be exploring what it means to be people of Christ-like love.
To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.