Putting Our Beliefs In Motion
Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action (1 John 3:18).
John is inviting us to put our love for God into action by how we treat other people. This invitation comes to us, not just so we can do it in good, easy times. But it is even more important to do in challenging times, such as we are living in now.
One of the most moving stories coming out of World War II Germany, occurred on a bus driving through a large German City. A Jewish woman was riding that bus next to a German man, when it was suddenly boarded by Nazi SS troops. They demanded that everyone produce their papers. This woman began to panic. She didn’t have papers. She was Jewish.
She had already seen many of her friends carted off to camps. She knew she was in trouble. She thought of her children. She thought of her husband. And she became visibly agitated. The man next to her asked her what was wrong.
She replied that she was Jewish and she didn’t have the necessary papers. She knew she was going to be arrested. She knows she would never see her family again.
All the while, the soldiers moved closer and closer.
Just before they arrived at where they were seated the German man began to curse the woman. She was mortified as he got louder and louder, calling her names, saying she was so forgetful. This immediately attracted the attention of the soldiers who came rushing up asking, “What is going on? Why the yelling?”
That was when the German man looked at this Jewish woman he had never met before and said, “This is my wife. She forgot her papers again. She is always forgetful. I don’t know what I am going to do with her.”
The soldiers just laughed and said, “Don’t worry about it. We will let her pass. Just make sure she brings her papers the next time.”
When they left, the woman looked at the man and said, “Thanks. But why?”
He smiled. He looked at her and touched her hand and said, “Because I think Jesus would have done the same thing.”
This man had experienced the love of God. It had touched him. He had been given a chance for life from God. And he wanted to give that chance to the woman beside him. When we put love for God into action by how we treat others, we create space for God to work so others have a chance at a life that really matters.
John invites us to put our love for God into action in how we treat others. Are you willing?
Holy God, thank you for loving us. We are certainly not perfect people. We have a hard time letting your love live through us. Be our guide. Be our partner. Teach us how to love you through loving those you send our way. In the hope Jesus offers us, Amen.