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“Othering” For the Sake of the World
I once attended a church in Breckenridge, Colorado where the walls of the sanctuary were huge sheets of glass. I was sitting inside the warm building while large snowflakes fell outside. The huge glass walls allowed a panoramic view of a splendid winter wonderland.
Thinking about this topic of “othering” brought that image back to mind. What if our church had walls of glass? Not for the purpose of looking out but so we would recognize when others were looking at us? Jesus said the world would know we were his disciples if we loved one another.
When they look in, what do they see? This year will give us plenty of opportunities to love each other as Jesus loves. It will not be long (maybe it even happened today) until someone will voice an opinion that differs from yours, or advocates a practice that you don’t like, or does something that makes you uncomfortable.
When it comes from someone you don’t know it’s difficult to know how to respond. However, if you’ve started building a relationship with them you have something solid to stand on to work through your differences. This is one reason it is so vital that we all participate in getting to know those different from ourselves. The world is watching to see if the ways we interact with one another is different since we all share a common Lord and Savior. When they see the love of Jesus in us; they will find that very attractive.
We love one another, number one, because Jesus told us to. Closely behind that reason is the second, we love one another for the sake of the world. If they don’t see the love of Jesus in us, where will they see it?