A Facebook post recently went viral from a mother on a tirade over childless couples visiting Walt Disney World. She was basically upset because she believed families without children were increasing wait times, which made her child cranky on a recent visit. “Disney World is for children! People without children need to be banned,” she wrote. So, what do you think? Should someone be banned from the ‘happiest place on earth’ because they don’t fit the mold of what we think an average family looks like? Of course not. It’s an absurd thought. The same thought can be applied to the church–why do we keep people from experiencing the love of Jesus because they don’t fit the standard mold we’ve created for what a Christian looks like?
Ouch. That one stings a little. We say all people matter to God, so all people matter to us. But do we really believe that? Do we believe it enough to let it change our actions? How many times have we hesitated to show love to someone because they looked different than us, they had different beliefs than us, or we simply didn’t think they were good enough to receive it? How many times have we been on the receiving end of this kind of treatment? We’ve all been on both sides, whether we realize it or not.
God’s love is for everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or what you’ve done. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son.” Did you catch that? He loved the world. Not just you. Not just the people you care about. Not just the “perfect” people. The whole world. He treasures each and every one of us so much that He sent His only Son to die for our sins. And he calls us to be a reflection of that love in everyone we meet.
So after we share a chuckle over the thought of banning childless families from Disney World, let’s be sure we’re ready to welcome anyone we meet to the ultimate happiest place–a place of true joy–a loving relationship with Jesus.