One Love Manchester.
Mark 12:29-31 (KJV)
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
I watched the One Love concert and it was truly amazing what Ariana and her team pulled off in just a few days. I’m not going to sit here and lie, I know A LOT of her music, I was (maybe still am) a secret fan. The whole concert from start to finish was just beautiful, the music that was picked out, the amount of money that has been raised for the victims, survivors etc. is absolutely amazing.
The most touching moments for me came at the start of the concert (i don’t know if it will have featured on international coverage,) but the BBC went into the crowd to speak to the survivors who had attended the concert and one of the girls said this “we have all adopted each other,” another said “no one is left out, we are making sure everyone is looked after.” This was so beautiful to see and hear and it really convicted me and challenged me a little. I sat there thinking how many times have I sat in church over the past few months and greeted or introduced myself to my neighbour, and it was a big fat zero, yes I know that I carry a lot of baggage to do with people and the church but that is not an excuse to go to church and claim to be like Jesus but not even extend my hand to say hello to someone.
And then the conviction continued, before Katy Perry performed she asked the audience to touch their neighbour and then she told them to say “I love you” to each other. The church girl within her came out but with a twist. I thought about it and I asked myself would I sit in church and say I love you when prompted to by the pastor?
Probably Definitely not.
My mind went into a spin thinking about us as Christians, how we act and react to events like these. How we would react if this had been a Christian gathering, and it wasn’t good. The division within Christianity is astounding.
What did this concert do for me as a Christian, it showed me that Christian unity is a long way away and that I can only do my bit when it comes to living like Jesus. I can not force other people to do anything or change their ways in order for the church to be unified. But I can start by simply greeting my neighbour each time I am in church. A simple hello can make someone feel so welcome in the very place that they need to feel welcome the most.
I challenge you to say hello and introduce yourself to someone in church this week, sit away from who you would normally sit with and greet a stranger.
I will leave you with this song created by two truly amazing artists, the fact that they put it all together so quickly is beautiful in itself.
This. – May You Speak (Feat. Montell Fish) [#prayformanchester Response Track]