Love – We seek to love indiscriminately as Jesus taught us – love for enemies and “the least of these” especially. We embrace the poor, marginalized and unloved and show respect to every human being as one created in God’s image. Hospitality – always being ready to be a welcoming presence – is our way of life.
The challenge has three parts:
1) Engage in service/relationship across economic and class lines at least once in the next two weeks. This can be done by volunteering with an organization or by simply reaching out in love on a personal level with someone you encounter over the next couple weeks. So, for instance, you could volunteer with Breakfast on Beach Street, serving breakfast to the homeless; or, you could get out of your car and meet the person panhandling at Walmart, see if you can help them with anything, or maybe take them out for a burger.
2) Plan and deploy one LOVE BOMB. A love bomb is a sudden explosion of love and joy, often done in a sneaky, surprising way. Basically, blow somebody away with love and kindness. Be creative. Be silly. Think big! Or think small. Get outside yourself and imagine a way to bless the socks off someone (or a group of people) with love.
3) In any situation when you recognize that someone is on the margin, even if your instinct is to distance yourself, instead place yourself squarely with that person, no matter the cost to your comfort or reputation. Ask the Lord for eyes to see those who are on the outside, who feel left out and unloved, and then make a point to stand in solidarity with them and to be a hospitable, loving presence.
Remember, we do not do these things do earn God’s favor or somehow gain righteousness. We love because God already loves us! And that love does not leave us the same. It transforms us into agents of love and reconciliation who love others with the love we ourselves have received freely from God.