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Love Tells the Truth (Even When it Hurts)
Heather’s testimony this morning was such a wonderful beginning for the sermon. Speaking so candidly about her postpartum depression and it’s terrible consequences gave us a refreshing illustration of the kind of transparency made possible by Jesus’ love.
In Matthew 23 Jesus denounces the showy, external religion of his day (and ours). That kind of religion demands a perfection that doesn’t allow people room for learning, growth and change. It is a religion that springs from a deep sense of insecurity. It keeps us constantly “putting our best foot forward” never allowing anyone to see the real you. At it’s worst it becomes an arrogant condemnation of everyone who has different views.
I thought Richard’s dramatic reading of Jesus’ sermon brought those ancient words to life! Love like Jesus is not some kind of soft, sentimental emotion. It is not cartoon hearts and bubbles. Love like Jesus is rooted in truth. God is love and God always tells the truth.
Churches must continually be examining themselves to see if they are applying the Word of God in a manner consistent with the Heart of God. And when we fail we must be honest enough to repent and begin again. As we grow in our practice of justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matthew 23:23) we discover that we are one’s who need it most.