Growing up we would sing was “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!” I was the kid who would always shout “Where?” at the end of each line and my classmates would jubilantly respond with “Down in my heart!”
We would always sing lots of extra verses. We’d sing joy, but also, “I’ve got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart!” And we would sing, “I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in my heart!”
Love was an assumed part of the song and of our lives. We knew that Jesus told us to love our neighbors. We were told the story of the Good Samaritan, so we knew that our neighbors were often unlikely suspects. We knew that God is love.
Yesterday I stumbled across this video at Hemant Mehta’s blog.
It seems that every time there’s a discussion about Christianity and the LGBT community, the topic of love will emerge. One group claiming that love is absent and the other claiming no, they still have the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in their hearts.
But when I listen to interviews like the one above, I feel like I’m still left shouting, “Where?”
We’re told in Scripture that perfect love casts out fear, but when a leader in a prominent Christian university says that marriage equality “is the thing that revolutions literally are made of,” that it will “literally wreck marriage,” that it will have “catastrophic consequences,” that it “could be the unraveling of the United States,” it seems to me that fear has a rather pronounced position.
When a heart is full of anger, where is the room for joy?
When a heart is full of revolution, where is the room for peace?
When a heart is full of fear, where is the room for love?