I recently wrote about being authentic with our lives and that is the type of community we are striving to create here at SFOCC — an authentic community of real people journeying together in this thing called life and faith. It's not as easy as it sounds. Being authentic requires us to drop our masks, our preconceived notions of who or what we or anyone else should be — it forces us to show our scars and wounds. In return the only response to an authentic person is Love, Christ-Love, as I would call it. It is the Love that is defined in 1 Corinthians 13.
As Christians, followers of The Way, we must live out our authenticity every moment of our lives and respond to other's authenticity with Christ-Love. This is how non-Christians will know we are Christians — by how we love one another! Our example in how to love is none other than Christ himself. He came from God out of God's great love for us and God's love manifest through Jesus to the world. He showed us how to live authentically with others, responding with Christ-Love to all who approached him genuinely. He showed us how to respond to those who criticize, insult, and harm us by returning evil with Christ-Love. Never returning evil for evil.
We seek to create a community that lives out God's command to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love God with all our heart. You can't do one without doing the other since we (humans) were created in God's image and to love God requires us to love the imago Dei or Image of God within each other. For a follower of The Way to not acknowledge and respond in Love to another human is to slap Jesus in the face yourself. Remember Jesus said, " whatever you did to the least of these you did to me..". Well that's what he was saying, If you treat others with disrespect, hatred, or violence then you are doing it to Jesus. Yes, I believe that means even characters like Hitler and ISIS Terrorists. We don't have to like what a person does but we must without exception show Christ-Love to each and every human being! We are all created in the image of God yet we, as humans so often do, have forgotten what that really means.
Join us at St. Francis Old Catholic Church as we journey together into living authentic lives filled with Christ-Love.