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We Love Them

A few weeks ago, the children and I were sitting in a circle on the floor in our Village Sunday School class. We were talking about what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39 about the two greatest commandments: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
After our discussion about what it means to “Love the Lord your God,” we moved-on to the significance of “loving our neighbor.” “Who are our neighbors?” I asked. Naturally, we started out with naming our literal next-door-neighbors, our friends at school, our friends at church and other people we knew and were familiar with. Then, I asked them about people in our community who we don’t really know, or who may speak a different language, have a different faith, love in a way that may be different from some of us, or who may be bullied by other people be-cause of these perceived differences. “What about the child at your school who is bullied?” It was at that moment that Josie, a precious 6-year-old, said without skipping a beat, “We love them!” “Alright,” I said, “but what about the bullies? What does Jesus say we do about them?” Again, Josie simply said, “We love them!” I continued to list different people who fall into the category of “our neighbors.” With each person I listed- Muslims, immigrants, people with mental illness, people who have different kinds of families, homeless people- Josie continued to say, “We love them!”
I am still humbled by those profound words of a child which so clearly reflect the loving words of Jesus. As adults, I feel that so many of us have a tendency to complicate this whole “love your neighbor” thing. We make it messy. We make rules. We establish boundaries. Some-times, it takes the voice of a child to remind us what the love of Jesus looks like.

If you ever question what the love of Jesus looks like, sounds like, feels like… I suggest leaning-in a little closer to our children. They know.

Posted by Mindy Plick with
in Slant

#aSLANT life

Slow down. Breathe. Relax. God’s got this. Now, get out there!

The world seems to have gone all reality TV on us; loneliness, violence, misogyny, inequality, bigotry, struggle and anxiety to name a few. Yet there is another way to live—to be truly human.

Poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “Tell all the Truth but tell it slant.” That word, S L A N T! It startles me awake. Truth flies in from the margins and catches us off guard by a God whose middle name is “surprise.” Truth is angular, the glint of steel reflecting off the moon, in Jesus Christ.

 The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12 are nine beats of truth flying in slant. The conversation on the mount reorganizes us as a new way to be human movement in the world. It is a gentle rain cleansing humanity of all of her “isms.” We must allow these beatitudes to go organic like a deeply rooted tree. It is a gentle communal invitation and not a harsh provocation. We are invited to be a movement of people showing the world a new way to be human.

Nine times like a steady beat of the bass drum in rhythmic cadence we are called blessed. Theologian Karl Barth translates the English word “blessed” like this; “you lucky bum.” Lucky are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who ache for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemaker, the persecuted, and the martyred for Christ. The cadence of a life lived fully and faithfully in direct opposition to the countless “isms.” What a superb reason for being alive. The objective is clear: to be the conduit for “Truths superb delight” to shine brightly in and through the Church of Jesus Christ.

We are called to offer the world another story line; a subversive narrative that runs counter to all things power of the day. A world steeped in grace, love and second chances. The way of the way of God in Jesus.

If you would like a copy of my latest book called SLANT:  a new way to be human, I can be reached at .

Live #aSLANTlife…you lucky bums!











Posted by Tobin Wilson with