This Advent, as I wait for Jesus’ coming, I’ve been thinking about what it means to live out the gospel call to love my neighbors, my family members, and strangers alike, in a way that demonstrates grace, rather than judgment, and how I can hold to my own convictions in the midst of such a love. Because as difficult (impossible?) as that seems, I do think it can be done. I think it must. But what that looks like? I have no list. No written direction other than the Word, which repeatedly tells me to love my neighbor.
In one of the Advent books I’ve selected for myself, this season, Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt wrote, “those intent on Christ’s coming have to bring a different way into their situations.”
I’ve been thinking about this different way, as it relates to the complicated socio-political issues of our current culture. What does this mean for me, in real time? In actual practice? This is a question I’ve been rolling around for nearly 5 years and like my friend, have sought answers in stacks of books, only to find myself back where I started, lacking a bulleted list, instead, holding onto the words of Jesus, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).