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Let's Do the Hard Work of Love

I have been on a study leave for the past two weeks, and I am happy to be back online and in community with the people who are Legacy Church and with you in the blogosphere.

As I re-entered my routine, the media-hyped, social phenomenon of Chick-fil-a occurred. So much can be said about the misconceptions and perceptions of who said what and who did what, that my 400-word post won't cover it all. But, I do have one thing to say to my fellow Christians:

You can't reduce your relationship with Christ to whether or not you eat at a particular fast-food restaurant on a certain day. 

As I said, I'm fresh off a study leave in which I was immersed in Paul's Letter to the Galatians under the tutelage of Dr. JMG Barclay . The Apostle wrestled with a group of Christ-followers who insisted those who followed Jesus had to do certain public things to show you trusted Jesus. His conclusion?
 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Gal. 5:6 TNIV
Translated to last week:
For in Christ Jesus neither going through a fast-food line or not going through a fast-food line has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. 
Paul "relativized" all outward religious activity and signs to a relationship with Christ that shows itself in love. This was so important to him, he wrote in the last lines of his letter, "what counts is the new creation" (Gal. 6:15)

Whether you did or didn't support Chick-fil-a on August 1, Paul would say, "Fine," but, he would remind you what counts is our "new creation" relationships with real people in real time, loving and serving them as Jesus would.

I am all for public displays of faith. Jesus was, too. (Matthew 5:16) However, let's make sure the impetus for our display is love and the motive is to help people trust Jesus--not in reaction to media-hyped sound bites and images. (I know there's more to it than that, but I'm afraid our response would have been different without "news" shows.)

Let's do the hard work of love in the relationships God has placed us in so we will be known in the public square in that way.

PS I know I can't cover everything in this post, so feel free to add your comments.