Tonight was our last night of Elevation – our summer youth program. Each week this summer our talks have been based on hit mainstream songs from secular musical groups such as Hoobastank; Audio Slave; Black-Eyed Peas. Tonight one of my senior boys (who is going into youth ministry) brought the message based on the song “Where is the Love?” by Black-Eyed Peas. Let me tell you – it is pretty powerful to have a 17-year old boy be the one to bring the challenge of “where is the love”. He used Romans 12:9-21 passage to challenge us to know what sincere love is and to “practice what we preach” (lyrics in the song). (By the way – there are some great lyrics to this song. Check it out sometime. Lines like: “Father, Father, help us. Send some guidance from above cause people down here got me questioning, where is the love.”)
Now, I can’t assume to know exactly who Black-Eyed peas are referring to with “people down here” but unfortunately, my mind pictures Christians. Judgmental and unloving Christians. People who do not extend the same grace and mercy to others that God extends to them. The most common images of absent love that make me question “where is the love” involve so-called Christians. It is by far easier to excuse the absence of love from those who live with the absence of the Spirit than from those who profess to be full of the Spirit. And I know this is unfortunately the position and experience of so many un-believers. They have been on the receiving end, not of Christian love, but of Christian judgement and coldness.
Mirror Time: Where is the love in my life? Do I talk about it more than I actually do it? When you read through Romans 12, there are so many of the challenges that I fail at. “love from the center of who you are; practice playing second fiddle; don’t quit in hard times; help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality; bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath; make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.” Reflecting on this list, I have enough areas in my life to work on to keep me quite busy. And the world is in such need of love, every person’s little steps toward bringing more love into this world will be used mightly by God to break through the darkness and pain in this world. When a room is pitch black, even the dimmest light shines bright.
Peace – Melissa