If we were playing word association and I were to shout out, “Contagious”, what would be your response? Something tells me that it would most likely not have a positive connotation. And that would be a shame because the power of a contagious love overcomes and that is a positive viral effect. It’s a good and healthy kind of viral spread in a world that fears viral spread.
Jesus gave his Disciples and us a very pointed command in John 15:17, This is my command: Love each other. Just seven words. As my friend Regi Stone would note, this is yet another version of the #7wordgospel. And this happens when you and I realize that there are really just two ways we can transmit the love that is the greatest of all.
We do so through sharing what we hear and what we see. Here are two examples from just earlier today. I walked down the hall that leads to my office and I heard a kind and caring soul praying over someone in need, “God, remind her of your unfailing love and provide her and her family with your grace and provision.” That is God at work in highly contagious ways through a young woman who is simply living out her call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. As I rounded the corner thinking, “Thank you Lord for the reminder that Christianity works,” I ran right into a line of elementary school students leaving the school lunchroom. As I waited for them to clear the most unexpected thing happened. One little girl just came up and hugged me…gave me a hug, never spoke a word, got back in line, and went on her little way. I became keenly aware of the value of a hug and also begin to wonder where she saw and learned that love could be communicated without words. Just as she had seen the love of Jesus in someone who had hugged her, she extended that precious gift to me.
Among all the things we have that strike fear, thank God for the contagious love we see and hear around us through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in overcoming the world. Be contagious God’s way and change the world as Christ has commanded through the power of God’s love.