As we continue our journey toward the fourth Sunday of Advent–the Sunday of Love–we will work to love those who (in the wake of the Newtown tragedy) are implying or stating outright that acceptance of gay relationships and gay marriage are all part of the unraveling of the moral fabric of our republic. It is hard for this particular community of believers to love such people since our church would be a lesser place indeed without the love and witness of our members who just happen to love and live with members of their same sex.
But how do we love people who are harmful and hurtful to the people we love? And does loving them mean that we agree with or even condone their words and actions?
We don’t have to agree with someone to love them. We love our brothers and sisters who suffer from addictions but refuse to admit their problems and seek help. We love our uncle whose political beliefs couldn’t be more opposed to ours. We love our childhood friend who bounces from one romantic partner to another. We love our brother-in-law who cheers for our team’s nemesis. We love all sorts of people we don’t agree with and whose behavior we don’t condone. And most importantly, we know that Jesus loves us, and we know (even though we don’t like to admit it) that there are many times when Jesus isn’t thrilled about our behavior either.
We work at loving people because we know that it’s not good for our hearts to hate. We work at loving hateful and hurtful people with the hope that our love will help their hearts to soften and become more loving as well. It’s not good for their hearts to hate, either.
As we await the celebration of the birth of Christ, who showed us just how much we are loved, let us work to share that love with those who need it most.