The ROYAL law – to love others, whoever they might be, from whatever background, broken, whole, … this is dignity, this is carrying ourselves with honour, because we give honour. There is no more supreme act of faith.
When we love someone as ourselves we are showing ‘royal’ behaviour. It’s supreme, it trumps all other behaviours, it is how disciples show the world that we are followers of Jesus, by our love for one another. It is how our communities discover a love that is beyond normal.
I like to put it like this, we are here to be the hope on every street.
How can I be hope to my street? By being the pastor to my street – given the royal law, one could argue easily that this is our highest call, our most important task. So when you see your street as your church, when you see yourself as the pastor of those living on your street, you behave differently.
Of course this is not limited to our street. Jesus, of course, explains in the parable of the ‘good Samaritan’ that a ‘neighbour’ is actually anyone you see who is in need. Why is this critical? Because people come to Christ in a storm usually. The ground has been broken for a seed of love and of the gospel. Love and kindness open up the way for a miracle of heaven in someone’s life.
Hence in our Church our goal is to have a Group in every neighbourhood in the cities we have a location. A small group is one of the most royal of communities we can be developing – it brings ‘hope on every street’ into an even more tangible force. A community of hope in the community. A community of believing prayer, of active love, of biblical and audacious faith.
The presence of a community of hope meeting together is a powerful beacon of life to our friends, colleagues and neighbours.
It also forms the basis out of which discipleship happens – so if to love is our royal call, then our royal mandate is to make disciples (Matthew 28:19).
Ultimately royalty are not there to be served but to serve, they serve the kingdom that they have the privilege of working for. Their behaviour matters, in order to live the values important to that kingdom. If these values live, the kingdom comes alive, and the royal call and mandate are given life.
In our Church these are our 5 core values (and what they feel like):
Confident, bold, secure, stretch, bright, encouraging, honouring
Generous, serving, warm, embracing, inclusive, ’it feels like home’, ‘how can I help you?’
- Presence of God
Palpable, force of prayer, hungry, Godly, worshipful, powerful, expectant
People invested, next step, progressive, believing, risk taking, challenging, personal, releasing
Not religious, fun, laughter, expressive, creative, secure
When we live a set of kingdom values, then the kingdom comes alive, a living, active, dynamic Kingdom is the context for our Royal activity, of loving and discipling.
Back to the Royal law then.
No doubt you spent 20 minutes this morning caring for yourself. You had a shower, you brushed your teeth and your hair and you dressed yourself. What if we were to give someone else 20 minutes of our devoted attention every day. I don’t mean coaching someone at work, if that’s your job, or helping out a colleague in their job. I mean, “how are you doing?”, “anything I can help you with, neighbour?”, “here is a meal I cooked”, “I have put your bins out already” … going out of our way, showing love through kindness type of royal behaviour, doing that which you would find a treat yourself.
That’s the Royal Law. Simple. Yet profound in impact.