Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Staying in Love

Midweek Meander 2-11-09 The most radical thing we do is to choose to love each other….again and again. – “Who don’t you love,” was the question posed in an anti-racism training workshop I attended last week. I really thought hard about that. After a lifetime of seeking Christ, I honestly couldn’t think of any one I’d list as unlovable. My mind shifted categories to “easy to spend time with” or “hard to spend time with.” And “renews my energy” or “drains my energy.” But I felt like I was ducking the question, “who don’t you love?” Is love an attitude or an action? In worship last Sunday, the Men’s group presented a wonderful conversation about the Wesleyan “Three Simple Rules” Do no harm, do good, stay in love with God. They showed us how companionship in Christ can help us struggle with the simple, difficult, questions we ask and choices we make. It’s hard to know how to love in a world that makes it sound as easy as picking the right card (why does that take so much time???), buying the right gift, or finding the perfect soul-mate. The most radical thing we do is to choose to love each other…..again and again. It’s radical to choose to love the same husband or wife through rough spots when all around we see “not happy with that one? Get a new one.” It’s radical to choose to love friends who take their “stuff” out on you, coworkers who step on you to get ahead, neighbors oblivious to your feelings. It’s even more radical to choose to love people we’ve never seen but who we think of as competitors rather than partners or threats rather than as persons. It’s hard to choose to love someone we know we have to keep our distance from for safety or sanity. By choosing to love someone, or someones, we choose to seek what’s best for them at the same time that we are seeking what’s good for us. And sometimes it would be an awful lot easier to just go away. How will you choose to love while we’re celebrating love that makes the world go ‘round? Why not think outside the box? Love by entering the human struggle. Become active in a political effort instead of critiquing from the side line. Call someone you miss. Talk (and listen) with a person who has a very different perspective. Invite someone to worship or lunch that you wouldn’t usually spend time with. Find a way to tell the ones closest to you that you choose them, not just to keep them happy, but because you make each other’s lives better. In the Joy of Seeking and Serving Christ with You, Karen US: CHOOSE FAIR TRADE CHOCOLATE ON VALENTINE’S DAY During Valentine’s Day week in the US, consumers are expected to spend more than $345 million on chocolate, benefiting large confection companies. When you buy fair trade chocolate through UMCOR’s partner Equal Exchange, small-scale farmers in Latin America, Asia and Africa benefit from a portion of your purchase and earn fair living wages. Why not choose to buy fair trade chocolate for a loved one and at the same time help United Methodist Committee On Relief meet its 100-Ton goal? The 100-Ton Challenge ends on World Fair Trade Day, May 9, 2009. Help farmers earn fair living wages, send their children to school and empower their communities. You can also give to UMCOR-SA&D, Advance #982188.

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