28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. Now he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 “‘No, I don’t want to,’ he replied. But later he changed his mind and went. 30 “The father said the same thing to the other son, who replied, ‘Yes, sir.’ But he didn’t go. 31 “Which one of these two did his father’s will?” They said, “The first one.” Jesus said to them, “I assure you that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering God’s kingdom ahead of you.32 For John came to you on the righteous road, and you didn’t believe him. But tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. Yet even after you saw this, you didn’t change your hearts and lives and you didn’t believe him. (Matthew 21:28-32, CEB)
This is an interesting parable I think, because when Jesus asks who did the fathers will, my first answer was neither. And yes, neither son did exactly what was asked, nor did they do what they said they would. But when it comes down to it, the first son did what needed to be done, regardless of what he said or whether he wanted to. This is something that I think we should be mindful of, both as a church and individual people. So often it is easiest to say what we think others want to hear. “Yes, I’ll help you with that,” “Of course we accept everyone,” “I love you,” etc. This is what our words are saying, but do our actions line up with those words? Do we love unconditionally, without question or complaint, and show it in all of our interactions?
Today I want to challenge you to say that you love those around you not with your words, but with your actions. This can be smaller things like a friendly smile (or wave, if you’re wearing a mask) or something larger like offering to do a chore, buying a coffee, giving someone a call and genuinely being interested in their day. Whatever love looks like to you, show it to those around you.