A friend of mine shared a funny story with me the other day. He was sitting in church next to his four year old son. The preacher climbed into the pulpit and began his sermon, “God loves you. Let me say that again. God loves you.” The phrase, “let me say that again” turned out to be a motif in the day’s sermon – whenever he arrived at a important point, he would make the point, say “let me say that again,” and then repeat the point. This happened several times. And near the end of the sermon, the boy turned to his father and said matter of factly, “this is the most boring sermon I have ever heard. Let me say that again. This is the most boring sermon I have ever heard.” Impressive shade for a four year old.
That being said, the preacher’s original point, while not original, is still important and a point many don’t hear very often. God loves you is a fact some just don’t know. We live in a world where many don’t belong to a worship community, where many don’t seek God on a regular basis, where some were told in no uncertain terms that God doesn’t love them, and where many don’t have the time, resources, or head space to make their relationship with God a priority. A lot of that is the Church’s fault for not being good stewards of their sacred responsibility, some of that is due to the priorities of this world, and some of that is because, after a incredibly taxing and tiring week, many folks can barely put two words together, let alone get themselves to Church. No guilt. This is the world we live in.
But into this world, we are sent. We who are blessed to proclaim “Alleluia! Christ is Risen,” to pass the Peace with old and new friends, to break bread and share His cup, we are sent into this hurting world. And to this world, we are called to say, “God loves you.” To that awkward coworker, we say, “God loves you.” To that person who cut us off on 55, we say “God loves you.” To that person who feels the need to tell you things you already know, we say “God loves you.” To the bully, the tattletale, the needy, the broken, we say “God loves you.”
As Easter people living in an Easter world (which sometimes doesn’t realize it is a Easter world), we must proclaim, “God loves you!” As followers of the Risen Christ, we must share that, “God loves you.” And when we are tempted to do want is easy, harmful, or hurtful, we instead remember that God loves us and “God loves you.”
Be Easter people. Share God’s love. Let me say that again. Be Easter people. Share God’s love.
Keep the Faith,