Several years ago, I was invited to speak at a big Presbyterian church in Ohio. The church had had some problems. Apparently the former pastor had been secretly letting a group of homeless men into the church at night so that they would have shelter during the freezing winter months. He was secretive about it, because he knew the church members would not like it.
All went well until one of the church women came early one morning to set up for a bridal shower luncheon. She was greeted in the church kitchen by a homeless man with nothing but a church-owned towel wrapped around him.
Turns out that the pastor was also letting the men use a washing machine meant to clean church linens for just such occasions as the bridal shower luncheon. The guy had striped down naked to wash the only clothes he owned.
That was the week they fired their pastor.
I was invited by the interim pastor to come and speak. He had been the interim for four years at that point. He told me that when they first hired him, he evaluated the situation at the church. And as he did, he came to realize that the members simply didn’t know how to love.
They didn’t know how to love each other.
They didn’t know how to love their pastor.
They didn’t know how to love those in need.
They didn’t know how to love God.
And they certainly didn’t know how to love themselves.
So every sermon he had preached the entire four years he was there had been about love.
In 2018, I am going to spend the year blogging about love. It’s what the world needs. It’s what the church needs. It’s what I need.
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Love (and I mean it!),