Should we be
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because he first loved us.
Every year we go through these two weeks that mesh so well together.
This week we celebrate the Solemnity of Brotherly Love. This Solemnity only occurs within our Holy Church, nowhere else.
This Solemnity recalls the power of brotherly love. It is the antidote to every form of evil. It heals where there is destruction. It provides hope in the midst of despair. It saves.
The Solemnity was first established In 1906 as our Church gathered for a Special Synod due to attacks against our young denomination from both within and without the Church. As the delegates gathered they decided to not respond in kind. Rather, the lay and clergy delegates instituted the Solemnity of Brotherly Love. We would emphasize Christ’s teaching of love toward one another and even love toward our enemies.
So it is today. Just because our Church isn’t under attack as it was in 1906, does not mean we should just relax on our love.
Perhaps that’s the problem with Christians. The old saying was: ‘the blood of martyrs is seed of the Church.’ The martyrs’ faith and sacrifice drew others to the faith. People saw that kind of courage, faith, and confidence and said, ‘I want some of that; I want to be like that. No fear.
Today, not so much. Many congregations have gotten comfortable. They have flush bank accounts, around the same amount of people showing up each week. They may even do a few extra things in the community, a little charity here and there.
Here, we do things a lot differently. We, like over 10,000 other churches across the country, are participating in Back to Church Sunday next week. Rather than be complacent, we have put our faith in Jesus because He is the One who changes hearts. We have put our feet and voices into action by inviting people to church. We have been and must continue to be their Good Samaritan.
This is of great import. It is key to the Christian life. We must give people a reason, an example, a way to say: ‘I want some of that.’ The most interesting things about being that Samaritan is having no fear in doing what is right. That much will be the one necessary action that saves someone.