A Message From Pastor Beth
“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
Love. It’s what makes the world go around as the song says. We all know that without love, life would be painful and difficult. Love is what drives our close relationships, helps us to feel secure, important, valued and appreciated. Without love, life would be a barren wilderness.
And it is from God that we first know love, seeing how God cares for us, and how God sent Jesus to die for us. It is Jesus who gives us an example of what real love is. It is a love that is all encompassing, a love that forgives, a love that sees the best in one another, a love that is shown in actions and isn’t restricted to simply words or small tokens of affections. Love is also about compromise, about listening and sacrificing for the good of the other. Love is not simply an emotion but is a choice, an action taken on behalf of the others, an action that holds the best intentions for the ones that we love. The best relationships are built around this sort of love.
And yet, our human definition is still much narrower than God’s as we tend to restrict our affections to those whom we care for, those we are close to, those we like. The passage above says that we can only know love if we know God and when we look at how God loved us. He loved us enough to die for us, to die even for those who rejected him and put him on the cross; we understand that God’s love runs very deep and wide to include even those who might not love God at the moment. As disciples of Jesus, this is the love that we are to try to emulate in this world. This is no easy task.
Our call then, is to love as God loves in a country and in a world that is lacking such love. Jesus asks us to pray even for our enemies, so as disciples of Jesus, we are to show love and respect even to those we disagree with, those who threaten us because they are different from us, and even those who might not like us back. It isn’t always easy, yet we know that it is God’s way and is the only path to peace.
This Valentine’s Day (and beyond) may your heart be filled with God’s love as you share that love with the world.