Week 6 – Dag 2/Day 2: Liefde vir die swakke/Love for the weak

Dietrich Bonhoeffer het gesê…

Die enigste houding wat werklik vrugte dra, veral teenoor hulle wat swak is, is die liefde. Dit beteken dat ons ons lewe met hulle sal deel. God het mense nie verag nie, maar het ’n mens ter wille van mense geword.

1 Kor 13: 4 Die liefde is geduldig, die liefde is vriendelik; dit is nie afgunstig nie, is nie grootpraterig nie, is nie verwaand nie. 5 Dit handel nie onwelvoeglik nie, soek nie sy eie belang nie, is nie liggeraak nie, hou nie boek van die kwaad nie. 6 Dit verbly hom nie oor onreg nie, maar verheug hom oor die waarheid. 7 Dit bedek alles, glo alles, hoop alles, verdra alles.

Ons het almal drome. Sommige mense droom oor politieke bestelle waarin almal werklik gelyke geleenthede sal hê. Ander droom oor rykdom en ’n pragtige huis. Soms is hierdie drome blote lugkastele wat nooit ’n werklikheid sal word nie.

Ek droom dikwels oor die ideale kerk. Andries Cilliers droom in ’n artikel oor kerkgeboue waarop die woorde sal staan: “Gee vir ons julle moeës, julle armes, julle stukkendes; gee vir ons die mense wat niemand wil hê nie …” Ongelukkig, skryf hy, lees mense nie wat op ons geboue staan nie, “hulle lees wat op ons gesigte staan, hulle lees wat ons met ons lyftaal sê. Ek het ’n idee baie van ons gemeentes straal subtiel – en dalk sonder om dit te besef – presies die teenoorgestelde uitnodiging uit: ‘Gee vir ons die wenners, die suksesvolles, dié wat geld het, wat ’n positiewe bydrae kan maak.’

Daar is ’n God vir gebrokenes, is die titel van een van Johan Cilliers se boeke. Daar is so ’n God. Is daar? Baie mense wonder daaroor omdat hulle enersyds hoor dat daar ’n genadige God is wat ons sonde vergewe, ons gebrokenheid met sy liefde toevou en ons optel wanneer ons geval het. Andersyds, egter, beleef hulle ongenadige kerkmense. So dikwels ontbloot ons eerder iemand se gebrokenheid as wat ons liefde dit bedek. So dikwels trap ons eerder op hulle wat geval het eerder as om hulle op te tel.

Ja, ek droom oor ’n kerk wat regtig die beeld van God weerspieël. Mag die Gees van God ons so vul dat liefde in ons bloed sal vloei. Die liefde is iets van die hemel waarna ons uitsien.

Here, maak my ’n mens van liefde vir alle mense, deur die krag van u Gees. Amen.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said…

The only fruitful attitude to people, especially the weak, is love. It means the will to share our lives with them. God himself did not despise people, but became a human being for the sake of human beings.

1 Cor 13: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

We all have our dreams. Some people dream about a political dispensation where everybody would have equal opportunities. Other people dream about wealth and a beautiful home. Sometimes these dreams are removed from reality. It will never be realised.

Very often, I dream about the ideal church. Andries Cilliers dreams in an article about church buildings on which we would read the words, “Give us your tired people, your poor, your broken people. Give us the people that nobody else wants.” Unfortunately, he writes, people do not read what is written on buildings. They read what is written on our faces, they read our body language. I have an idea that many of our churches, without realising it, radiates in a subtle way exactly the opposite, ‘give us the winners, these successful people, those that have money, those that can make a positive contribution.’”

There is a God for broken people. This is the title of one of Johan Cilliers’ books. There is such a God. Is there? Many people wonder about that. On the one hand they hear about a merciful God forgives sin, folds broken people into the arms of his love, and helps those we have fallen to their feet. On the other hand, however, they experience merciless church people. So many times, we rather expose the brokenness of people than covering it with our love. So many times, we rather trample on those who have fallen than helping them to their feet.

Yes, I dream about a church that will reflect the image of God. May the Spirit of God fill our lives in such a way that love will flow in our blood. This love is something of the heaven that we are dreaming about.

Lord, make me a person of love for all people, by the power of your Spirit. Amen.

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