By Pr. Rhoda Klein Miller
How would you demonstrate your love for someone if you couldn’t say the words “I love you”. As nice as it is to hear without actions which back up the sentiment the expression is hollow and unsatisfying. When we declare we love Jesus, are we expressing an appreciation for a ‘feel-good’ idea or the actual person who has wooed us with sacrificial service and shares wisdom that leads to wholeness? Is it clear to others from our actions, choices and behaviors that we love the One who is our Creator and Saviour?
This month we’ve been focussing on “Love Does” based on a book and group study plan from author Bob Goff. Through some nearly unbelievable encounters Bob models the adventures that follow when he radically commits to love and serve others.
One of the most compelling stories in the book is about Goff’s encounter with a Ugandan judge named Richard. Goff was visiting Uganda as part of his work with a nonprofit organization, and he ended up meeting Richard in a chance encounter. Richard invited Goff to visit him at his home, and Goff accepted, not knowing what to expect.
When Goff arrived at Richard’s home, he was surprised to find that it was a prison. Richard had converted one of the cells into his living quarters so that he could be close to the prisoners he served as a judge. Richard explained that he felt called by God to love and serve these prisoners, many of whom had been abandoned by their families and society.
This encounter with Richard deeply impacted Goff, and it inspired him to think about how he could follow Jesus with a similar radical commitment to love and serve others. Goff writes, “I was struck by the way Richard was living out the words of Jesus. He was following Him with everything he had.”
In Hebrews 13:1-3 we find the original challenge to “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have hosted angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering”.
It is my prayer that our love and conviction would deepen and drive a transformation in how we live out our faith in practical ways.