John 13:34-35 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."
I use to drive between NY and KY every so many months. I knew the route numbers and the direction I needed to follow to get to my destination. And so I looked out for those route numbers. We find our directions through signs and landmarks.
God has lined the way home to God's Presence with the landmark of love. Love rescued creation in Noah's story. Love chose a people to partner with the Divine in the ultimate rescue mission. Love walked the earth and went to the Cross, forgiving those who crucified him. Love rose again.
Now Christ says to us--you are the landmarks pointing people home, back to the Presence of God. They will know they are going the right direction because you will be marked by love.
This love we have been marked with is not the esoteric "peace, love, harmony" where we throw flowers at each other and dance as if nothing is wrong type of love. The love we are marked with is the love of Christ--"love as I have loved you."
This love goes beyond my comfort level, beyond my preferences, beyond my understanding of what Christianity looks like, beyond my ego. This love sacrifices for the sake of others. This love holds relationships and human beings in a most sacred place. This love loves through pain, sin, and disappointment. This love walks with others to wholeness.
I don't love this way but I want to. I am marked by the sacrificial love of Christ. I am free to love others sacrificially so I can be a landmark leading them to the healing Presence of God. I wonder where my life is leading people? Am I leading them to a Christianity made in my own image? Or am I leading them to Christ?