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From Our Pastor
It’s almost that time of year, hearts will soon be everywhere, flowers delivered, men and women with goofy looks and googly eyes over their “true” love. I have come to the age where it almost makes me laugh, just on general principle. Don’t get me wrong, I have laughed many times at my children when they were in “love”. Today when we talk about love we are usually referring to a feeling or a state of mind in which we are “in love” with another person. We often believe that relationships are based on this thing the culture calls love; a thing that makes many a young person do stupid things to get their “beloved” to notice them. Think back for a moment to your younger days and to your first love. That person who was once so vital to your life, the person you couldn’t live without being near. Do you remember their name? How they looked? Do you know where they are today? Many of us might remember their name but we lost touch with them many years ago. Some are still with that first love but I am pretty sure the relationship has changed; it is no longer about a goofy feeling in the pit of our stomach; it has matured to something more real. So what is love really? It is how we feel about someone. It is deeper.
1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love is to be in the community called the church.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NRSV)
This scripture helps us to understand that love is not a feeling but a way of life, it is filled with conscious actions toward each other. To love others requires us to treat them with the highest of respect and to always seek the best for them. It’s sad to me that in our society love has become something that comes and goes in our lives but in God’s design it is something that is permanent and is a decision we make about each person we meet. Jesus tells us in Matthew that love is not limited to those we like or want to be around but even to our enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:43-45 NRSV)
I am sure someone is going to ask if I think God really meant that and to answer that question, yes I do with all my heart, and I am still working on loving my enemies. (I have a ways to go.)
Our job is to be lovers of those we meet each day of our lives and to show others what love means. We have a difficult job to teaching that it’s not a feeling but a way of living that puts others first. So know that I love you and I am trying to learn to love more in a Christ like manner each day.
Happy Valentines Month.
Blessed to Be Your Pastor,
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