Immanuel Lutheran Church
During the month of February, we see many symbols of love red hearts, cupids with arrows, candies saying "Luv U" and more. They seem kitschy and cute, but never-theless they point to the very real need we all share to love and be loved.
Love is what faith is all about. Life and faith begin with Gods love."For God so loved the world " (John 3:16). Gods very nature is love. We are made in Gods image. We are made to love and be loved.
With the love and grace that we receive from God, we are changed from self-centered to God-centered people. Filled with Gods love, our love flows back to God and outward toward others. John writes, "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).
Jesus provided the model of giving himself to others. He"did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). Christ willingly and cheerfully accepted the role of humble service to others. Jesus lovingly washed his disciples feet and then said "So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you." (John 13:14-15).
As Christians, we are called to act in loving ways and cheerfully re-spond to the needs of others. As strident voices seek to divide us, we are called to rise above the clamor and live in love. We are even called to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
The thing about prayer is that when you pray for someone, even if it is someone who you dont get along with or dont agree with, the prayer changes you. Prayer brings out compassion in you. Prayer softens your heart toward the other person as you recognize your common humanity and common calling as Gods beloved children. As we communicate with the God of love through prayer, Gods love fills us with his love, making us more loving toward one another.
So, during this season of love, as you see all those little signs of love, let them fill your heart with love for God and love for your neighbor - all your neighbors, even the obnoxious ones!
In Christs service,