I talk week in and week out about love, but when times like these come they test our resolve to love.
What should our response be in times like these? Should we seek justice? Should we roll over like a rug mat?
It’s hard to think straight. I feel violated having someone in my office, uninvited, rifling through my desk. Fortunately nothing of high value was stolen. Fortunately no one was hurt. But now there’s this uneasiness I feel in the area. I felt this same way years ago when my car was broken into in California.
It seems so cliche, but how would Jesus respond?
Things are things. People are created in the image of God. They are loved by Him. Their lives are valuable to Him. He yearns for their salvation.
Jesus would pray first. He wouldn’t verbally try to process things and get worked into a froth first like I often tend to do. He would pray first to find his source of strength and center.
He would pray for the salvation of the thieves. He would pray for love to abound in himself that they might know God through the undeserved love of the Son. He would pray for an opportunity to love them directly in word and deed.
Would He seek justice? Only if that would lead to their repentance.
Would he spend money on surveillance and security systems? It’s hard to tell. I’m not sure Jesus would be very concerned about a church building at all. Sometimes ownership of stuff distracts from the more meaningful purposes in life.
Are church buildings a good investment? In this culture they seem to be. We are much more urbanized than in centuries past. The closer the people are together, the larger the gatherings tend to be. The larger the gatherings, the greater the need for a gathering place. And it’s cold outside. Very cold. I’m thankful for a warm place to get together with my forever family.
Jesus came to this earth and functioned within the current religious and social culture of the day. I think he would do the same today – church buildings and all.
So, what is our response when we who are striving to live for Christ are violated in such a way? Pray. Pray for the people who broke in to find love and freedom from sin in Christ. Pray for ourselves that we may find peace and lose our need for vindication. Pray to see through the eyes of Christ and love with His heart and His Spirit within us.
May God bring life-change to those who broke into our building. May God bring a forgiving Spirit to our hearts and allow us to be an example to the rest of our community and the world. May God be glorified in all things.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.