Acceptance of Jesus’ Great Invitation, “Come unto me,” is not defined by the books we carry, the verses we quote, or the organizations we join, but by the way we love.
Normalization of prolific mass shootings and protected gun violence, rollback of women’s rights, violent rhetoric against our LGBTQ community, and racist adjudication of the death penalty are among the most recent setbacks for humanity in general and our nation in particular. As wearisome as our resistance may sometimes seem, we remember the encouragement of St. Paul through the Galatians, as expressed by Charles Gabriel in his hymn, “Let us not grow weary in the work of love.”
Christ invites us to join together in an eternal partnership, overcoming the heartbreaks and injustices of the world by ministering the healing kindness and goodness of God’s love. How refreshing it must have been to see and hear Jesus exemplify and teach, revealing the true nature of God in contrast with what those who were professing traditional orthodoxy were practicing and proclaiming! How refreshing it is for us today to hear the Great Invitation as an opportunity to join Jesus in making this world a better place, even as we look forward to the life of the world to come!
Isn’t this what we want: Peace in our hearts, peace in our land, peace around the world? Imagine how it would be if God’s love were perfected in our personal lives and relationships. Imagine how it would be if our community, state, and nation were ultimately governed by perfect love. Imagine an entire world brought together in peace and love for everyone. This is the vision of Christ for the whole of humanity that we would love one another as Christ has loved us. Jesus invites you, me, and everyone else to join in a divine partnership of spreading peace and love. Isn’t that refreshing?
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28 KJV).
Excerpt from the manuscript of the sermon preached by
Rev. Bill Lawson on July 9, 2023, at Briensburg UMC.
Cover Image Photo by Pexels. “Teamwork,” 2016. Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/hands-heart-red-paint-heart-shape-1846428/ 4 July 2023.