I know all the verses as well as you.
Love your neighbor.
Love one another.
The greatest of these is love.
The problem for me is that we (the Church, Christians, those of us who worship on Sunday, those around us who hear us speak) have allowed our default understanding of love to become mushy. More Kum By Yah than We Shall Overcome. More holding hands in a circle than linking arms and marching across the Pettus Bridge. More Joel Osteen than John Lewis. Or Gordon Cosby. Or Archbishop Romero. Or Rufina Amaya.
My read of the world around us and the communities in which we live is we need something more. Something much more than a mushy understanding of love. We, in the Christian community, need to begin thinking and talking and believing and living an understanding of love which is strong and resilient and justice bound. A love rooted in our deep understanding and our firm belief that the Kingdom of God is meant for right here and right now. A love that not only says all the right words in our hymns and our prayers and our preaching, but stands up for them in the public square.
We have allowed the word love to be misused by so many for so long which is why I am giving up on it. Giving up on at least the word. And intentionally trying to replace it with something which gives me and maybe others pause when we hear it. I am still working on what some of those words or phrases might be, but here is a start.
Hold onto God like your life depended on it.
Hold onto one another like your life depended on it, including the other over there.
Hold one another accountable.
And the greatest of these is when God’s Kingdom comes and all have enough and all have a place.
As I said, I am just starting.
I invite you to start as well.
Maybe together we will find a language and a way of living which tears open a hole and allows the Kingdom of God to push through.