If I had only 5 minutes to speak to you, this is what I would say:

How well do you like the new neighbors that will move in, on your street, tomorrow? What is it that makes you feel close to them? How well behaved are the children? I could ask you many more questions that would be impossible for you to answer. Why impossible? Well of course, you don’t know anything about them. You have not even met them yet. Why is any of this important? It’s important because you cannot form a relationship with someone, especially a close relationship, if you don’t know the person; if you don’t speak to the person; if you make no attempt to be with the person. This is so obvious a statement, that it is almost a waste of time mentioning this.

How well do you know Christ? What makes you feel close to Him? What is it about His life that makes you want to be with Him? What makes you want to chat with Him? These are questions that you must answer, that you must know the answers to. We all agree, that you cannot form a relationship with someone, without knowing, talking to, or being present with them. The same holds true with Jesus. I ask you, how often do you say prayers to Jesus? I am not talking about words we have memorized. Words, that mean as much as, that come off our lips as easily as, when we read a food label on a load of bread. I am asking you how often do you talk to Jesus? Chat with Him? Choosing and using words that you feel and know. Words that you select because they must be said your way, in order to explain yourself to Him? Your conversation with Him, is no different than it would be if you were talking to a loving mother or father, a loving friend. After you have talked and told Him everything that He should know about you for that day, what does He say back to you? Nothing!!?? Do you give Him time to speak? Christ won’t speak to you with words, though. Listen! Listen intently! Try to be in a quiet place. True, sometimes He doesn’t answer us at all, but sometimes He whispers emotions to us, He passes on ideas to us, or moods. Sometimes a recognition of something occurs that you wonder where it came from. Listen to Him. Get close to Him. He loves you so much, He died for you. He wants so very much for you to be close to Him. But if on that particular day, no answer seems to come, don’t get discouraged, just let Him know you will resume the chat, tomorrow. Mean it and do it. Slowly, gradually you will begin to form that personal relationship with Him. With it, comes a very special benefit. You begin to realize how much Christ loves you. In spite of all that you have done that hurts both yourself and others, in spite of all the negativity that you feel at times, in spite of all the times that you don’t have good feelings towards Christ, He loves you. He knew when He was on the cross, everything that you would say and do. He forgave you then and He loves you, just as much, now.

If Christ can see us as being lovable, in spite of all that we have done, then maybe we are lovable. Maybe we are worth something. Maybe we should expect more of ourselves. Maybe we should share this love with the people that we meet. Wait a minute!!! No maybe about it. We are lovable and should share this with everyone we meet. Paraphrasing the words of Christ, “How can you say you love Me, if you cannot love your fellow man?” Christ loves him too. Christ died for him, as well. He saw his imperfections, just as he saw yours. He loves you both equally well. Why do you think you are better than some other people? You both have your faults. You both are loved by Christ. Both you and your fellow man should, no MUST, love each other. If you proclaim yourself as being a Christian, then you have no other option but to find ways to love others.

It is an easy thing to say, but can be very difficult at times to do. We have to stop kidding ourselves. We have some work to do. We know where we are weak. We know how little we talk to Christ and yet we boldly think of ourselves as Christian people. Please, my 5 minutes is probably up, by now. You have work to do. We all have work to do. Let it start by forming a better relationship with Jesus. Let it start by talking to Him from your heart, with feeling. Let’s do it regularly, each day. Let’s grow together as we grow in Christ. Maybe someday, we can love each other.