LOVE GOD LOVE PEOPLE. That perfectly sums up the Gospel. It is the Truth of who Jesus is and the reason for our existence on this earth. The two commandments go hand in hand, we cannot love God without seeing His heart for humanity. We are called to Love Him with the totality of our being and to love others wholeheartedly just as He does.
God recently fulfilled a long time desire of my heart to go on a mission trip to Africa. No amount of reading or internet images could have truly prepared me for the extensiveness of the poverty and brokenness. It was astonishing. I spent the first day or so questioning God and how He could have abandoned and forsaken these beautiful people. But the more I sat with them, talked with them, touched them, laughed and ate and prayed with them, the more I realized that they don’t feel hopeless and abandoned at all, in fact they are more aware of the depth of the Father’s love than most Americans I know.
Their worship is beautiful, they dance and clap and sing to their Creator. But they also really know how to love each other. They walked for hours each day to visit with us, they prepared and served us meals that they could not afford to feed to their own family. They held our hands as we crossed steep ravines and captured our hearts with their smiles and their capacity to love with abandon.
In Matthew 25 God identifies Himself with the poor and suffering. He tells us that when we love on them, we are loving Him. I am not sure who “the least of these” were on that trip to Kenya; “them”- the extremely impoverished, or “us”- the spiritually bankrupt. The one thing I do know is that when we obey the commandment to love, then the eyes of our hearts are open to the riches of His glory and we get a glimpse beyond the veil and into the heart of our Heavenly Father.