Beacons of Hope: Love, Mission, and Oneness
We have been intimately touched in the scramble for beacons of hope, have we not? Perhaps like never before, we are experiencing the devastating effects of inequity and all its horrifying consequences. Without beacons to draw us back to the source of life, we are left in a chaotic environment of ever increasing hate and fear.
So what are those beacons? What remains steadfast through all the chaos and harm? Love, mission, and oneness, conferred on us by our father, light the way to a brilliant future of restoration and redemption. We are all on a path to discovering just how to implement the beacons in our lives. Will you join me in pursuing these beacons in your life?
God loved the world so much, that he sent his kiddo to be ridiculed, mistreated, and ultimately murdered so as to make a way for us to have a relationship with him. (John 3.16) If you are new to this narrative, spoiler alert, God raised that same kiddo up from the dead to once again lead us in a life of love. Oh let us love one another with Jesus' amazing love. God is love, and in this love, enables us to live in love through him. We didn’t love first, he did - and now that love is being grown in us, enabling us to more fully love others. The effect of God’s love shows when it pours out of us, onto those around us, leaving no room for hate in our hearts. So because we love God, we also love others. (1 John 4.7-21)
Our first beacon is love. If it isn’t in love, then it isn’t from God. It may be worth mentioning here that kind of love I’m talking about is not emotional sentimentality. The kind of love I am talking about is the kind of love that is willing to sacrifice and to fight for the needs of others. It is the kind of love that has the courage to say, “Enough harm, we can do better.”
So what then is our mission? Our mission is to creatively live out this love with actions. Speak up for those who haven’t a voice, defend the rights of the defenseless, seek justice, and judge fairly, learning to do what is right. (Prov. 31.8-9, Isa. 1.17)  Not exactly a user’s manual with step by step instructions! This vague picture of our beautiful mission of love is obviously lacking the ease of a to-do list that I can check off at the end of the day. “Check – Okay, I loved today.” Nope, that’s not how this works. I am left in the frustrating center of heart change. Daily I live with a God who pursues me in love, which enables me to grow, slowly, in my ability to love others. This is my mission – to live and love, in an almost breath-like motion. His love entering me, and then myself breathing out that love onto others; a rhythmic pattern of inhale and exhale of the love that changes the world.
Are you still confused as to what this might look like in your life? So am I! Mission1Race has some great avenues to explore as we grow in our understanding, and I hope you will join me in participation of some of them. (Please visit our Get Involved page to learn more.)
Living out our mission of love leads to oneness, an embrace of all that God wishes for his children. Oneness is the desire to live in accepting acknowledgment of the unique qualities each of us possesses. It is also embracing our inherent similarity a one human race, made in the image of God. (Gen. 1.27) As much an unattainable utopian view as this seems, our Lord called us to live this out, giving the strength and equipping to do so. (Matt. 19.26) I am privileged to see small movements happening toward a world of oneness. The hopefulness of what can be is peeping through the dark storm clouds of what is, the beacons of love, mission and oneness channeling God’s love to the world.
Lord, I am living with what I know of myself, and the utter ways I fail every day… I fail in the simplest of opportunities to love; the frustration with my downstairs neighbor, the gripe I have with decision makers, an inconveniences to my agenda. I see you loving me when I am lovable and when I am not, constantly growing my heart “two sizes larger.” And as you grow my heart those two sizes larger, I see the beginning of new ways to live out the mission of oneness. Thank you for providing your strength for this painful task, and thank you for the beautiful redemption in following your beacons of love, mission, and oneness.
1. Photo Credit: Lindt, Marketa. "LIGHTING THE BEACON OF HOPE FOR OUR CLIENTS AND OUR COUNTRYLIGHTING THE BEACON OF HOPE FOR OUR CLIENTS AND OUR COUNTRYLIGHTING THE BEACON OF HOPE FOR OUR CLIENTS AND OUR COUNTRY." Think Immigration. Last modified June 25, 2019. https://thinkimmigration.org/blog/2019/06/25/lighting-the-beacon-of-hope-for-our-clients-and-our-country/.
2. Taylor, Katie. "30 BIBLE VERSES ABOUT GOD’S CALL TO LOVE OTHERS." https://www.worldvisionadvocacy.org/. Last modified August 30, 2019. https://www.worldvisionadvocacy.org/2019/08/30/30-bible-verses-about-gods-call-to-love-others/.
3. Link: Mission1Race. Last modified , 2020. https://www.mission1race.org/get-involved.
4. Howard, Ron, dir. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Directed by Anthony Hopkins, , 2000. DVD.