I often wonder what a guest to LCC thinks after they spend a Sunday morning with us. Will they come back next week? Were they welcomed? Did anything we do freak them out? I wonder if a guest of LCC ever says when heading home after a Sunday morning, “Those people really love each other”. Some may, but more likely they will say things about the music, preaching, kid’s classes, youth group, or how friendly we were. I believe that’s alright and pretty normal. You see, in order for a person to see how we love one another, they may need to come back to LCC a few more times to catch it. If they look closely, they may see it on a first visit on Sunday morning. Better yet, they need to see us in action at some other time besides Sunday morning. Perhaps they visit a Care Group and see what Christian community looks like in the living room of a home. Or maybe if they see us out and about during the week, they may catch us “loving one another” in some way.
One blog post I read said, “At no other time in the history of Christianity did love so characterize the entire church as it did in the first three centuries. And Roman society took note. Tertullian reported that the Romans would exclaim, ‘See how they love one another!’” I wonder if non-believing people in Longview, Texas would look at us and say the same thing? Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35 NLT).
One “stage” we have as a church to show our neighbors how we love one another is coming up on Saturday, April 25th. We call it Heartbeat Day of Service and it is our way to set aside one day to “love one another” in practical ways. The goal is to have all hands on deck as a church in order to take care of some of our own LCC folks who need housework, repairs, yard cleanup, etc. Also, it is an opportunity for us to show love to someone connected to an LCC person who nominates them to be on the Heartbeat Day of Service list to serve. Truly our motivation isn’t to put on a “show” by doing something in a public way. Our sole motivation is to love others in the name of Jesus. But, wouldn’t it be awesome if a byproduct of over 150 LCC people serving together all over Longview caused someone’s head to turn. If that person was not a believer in Jesus Christ, maybe that head turn would cause them to notice how we love one another. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if that caused them to reconsider this Jesus Christ they may have rejected in the past and turn to Him to experience the eternal love only He can give?
“See how they love!” I pray someone says that as we journey together as a church.
Note: Blog Post I referred to is http://www.earlychurch.com/unconditional-love.php