Loving Like Jesus

Written by Lizzie Kiser, Kids Ministry intern.

Do you have loved ones?
Do you have a job?
Do you have friends?

Walk into any coffee shop in Columbus and you can tell these are the things valued in our society. People are looking at hands to see if there’s a wedding ring and asking about careers and hobbies.  The academic world says that if you can answer “Yes” to these three questions, you’re successful.  If you answer “No” to these questions, society most often responds by institutionalizing you.  It seems as if one is systematically placed into a prison or a mental facility. This is the view of our culture today, as expressed by one of my professors.

But sitting in class, it didn’t quite settle right with me.  I began modifying these questions.

Do you have love?
Do you have purpose?
Do you have community?

Orphans, widows, outcasts, loners, unemployed, etc.  The people answering with too many “No”s.  These people aren’t succeeding by societies measurements.  But how is the church called to respond?  Do we echo society and sublimely tell them they’re hopeless, letting them end up at rock bottom? Or do we love them like Jesus would?

Jesus loved these people.  He gave them purpose and brought them into a kingdom of believers.  He blessed them.  He served them.  Blind, lepers, paralytics, beggars, adulterers, demon-possessed, betrayers. The gospels give numerous accounts of Jesus interacting with the people that by the standards set by our society are failing.  Diseased, impoverished, widowed, outcast, and shamed.  The Gospel is for these people.  They don’t need a job or a spouse or a house.  They need Jesus.

We, as a church, are called to love these people.  Not to judge them or ignore them.  Not to pass them by and hold our heads high, but to get down in the messy trenches with them and help them walk in the light of the gospel by sharing Christ with them.  Veritas does this through countless ministries and I urge you to consider getting involved.  Consider the people you come across on a daily basis: the friend who is lonely, the colleague who just got fired, the coworker who keeps to themselves on break.  What if we loved these people like Jesus would? What if rather than making them outcasts we invited them into the kingdom?

What if we loved these people like Jesus would?

This is the call Veritas: love your neighbor.  Even if the rest of the world doesn’t.