Blogging the Baptist Hymnal... "Love Divine, All Love's Excelling" Page 2
I don't know if you've noticed lately, but there is a bit of a quiet revolution going on in the world of Believers who are not satisfied with what is being done today in the name of Christianity. It's a simmering stew of folks from all walks of life who are looking at this whole thing a little differently. And when I say simmering, I don't mean as about to boil into an angry mob, I mean simmering as in slow-cooking, great smells in the air all day, ready for a feast when it's ready-type simmering. It's a Love Stew and it's on the menu in cities big and small all over the country.
Way back in the late 60's, I was part of an amazing thing that moved across America. Hippies found Jesus and suddenly The Way of the Master was a cool thing and the Jesus Movement somehow made its way into even my little Southern Baptist church in Kenosha, Wisconsin. I was about 14-ish when I heard my first message by a groovy guy with hair long enough to give Moses a run for his manna...and being a girl who never in her life had the word cool attached to a sentence with her name in it...well I was hooked. Here was a way....One Way...as we groovy people called it...to love me some Jesus and be accepted all in one fell swoop.
But a revolution, as this surely was, by definition means turning the people around to a whole new way of life and leaving the old behind. The Jesus Movement didn't go over so well with the old guard who wanted things to stay the same. We had a new American Revolution on the march....one that took the words of Jesus seriously. ("The Red Letters are coming! The Red Letters are coming!") Some didn't like these young up-starts telling them how to love their neighbor. They knew perfectly well how to do that...as long as neighbor was defined as someone who looked like you, talked like you and didn't rock the boat you had built. They were not so big on melding a family out of just an old material. The Anointed Groovy Ones tried to show them a different way....a way of accepting all peoples and reaching out to the least of these...not just bringing things to the poor every Christmas, but asking the poor to join them every day of the year. The Elders (those Non-Melders) didn't want those words pointed out to them...at all. They stuck to their preferred passages and ignored the ones about loving your neighbor and giving your coat to the cold. I think they were just a little more comfy with a God who was angry and cast people out...their kind of guy.
I see it happening again....this 21st century version of the Jesus Movement...complete with Jesus Freaks and enough Love to sink an Ark. It's happening and I am old enough now to dig feeling groovy about this new revolution in a way I couldn't at 14. This time I get the love-thing in a way that you can only get when you have spent your life looking out for you....selfish...self-absorbed...me with a capital M. Suddenly there is an answer to the dreariness that long ago took over your interior weather patterns because YOU have been the only cloud in the sky. Love 'em like Jesus. That's what's in my forecast...and it doesn't even have to be hard! Just set out everyday to be kind to those who cross your path. To help someone when you have the means to help them. There are soooo many hurting people in the world.
When books like "Crazy Love", "Love Revolution" and "Irresistible Revolution" (three books that changed my life) are bestsellers...then I'm feelin' the winds of change and I'm praying for a big ol' storm. When you see it coming....don't run for the basement. Stand on the roof and say "Here! Over Here!" I for one am truly welcoming this revolution that is sick and tired of things being done in the name of Jesus that don't have anything to do with the life he gave us as an example. Love. He was all about the love.
"God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power...and he went about doing good..." Acts 10:38