This weekend I attended church via Facebook Live. Our church will start in person services next week. One of the songs played was a folk song created in the 1960s by Father Peter Sholtes. The song is called, “They Will Know We are Christians By Our Love.”
While humming this tune this morning, I reflected on that song and what it means. What does the word, Christian, conjure up in people’s minds today, especially in the United States? Does it mean I am a Republican? Or does it mean I am pro-life? Does it mean that I oppose gay marriage?
None of these sentiments express love. They are cultural issues, not necessarily spiritual ones. I am a Christian because I love God and I love others. That’s it. No other requirements.
The ideal to love is all I need. I can mess up because love covers a multitude of sins. I fall short so often of what I think a Christ follower should be. But to be labeled as a Christian by Jesus I have to love, not fret about my shortcomings.
I can love Democrats and Republicans, because love isn’t about political parties. I can love someone who supports abortion because, again, it’s about love, not the hot-button topic of the day.
I can love gays.
Jesus didn’t ask me to choose sides. He doesn’t require that I support Donald Trump. Or support Joe Biden. It’s not about that.
It’s about love.
Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”