Isaiah 12.2 (RSV)
"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."
The things that scare me have changed over my lifetime. I can still vividly remember the long night when I was 8 years old lying in my bed watching (what imagination said was true) that the shadows that danced on my ceiling were none other than a person pacing outside my window. That’s not so much a concern to me these days, but I sure get a little afraid when I’m not sure a restaurant takes a credit card because I just gave the rest of my cash to the kids.
What about you? What things scare the tar out of you? Is it financial? Is it something about a significant relationship? Are you unsure of the future? All of these are part of what it means to be human and all of these, I bet, we have all struggled with at some point in life.
When we experience again the love of God in Jesus, we are shown that salvation comes in terms of love which means that we are to look at the world and others through that lens of love. We are to look, not necessarily out for ourselves alone, but seek ways to find a future, develop significant relationships, and trust in God’s economy as a starting point and not an end point.
That is our beginning, as those who strive to live a Jesus type way in the world. We love, says the scriptures, because we were shown a love by God who is audacious enough to love us first and expects us to love in a similar fashion. Yes it is hard and yes it is a little scary. Yes it is something that we learn to live into one day at a time trusting that we will be made right by the gift of the Holy Spirit as long as we surrender to the will of God for our lives.
Grace and peace,
Psalm 55.14 (RSV)
We used to hold sweet converse together; within God's house we walked in fellowship.
We have begun a series titled “Love is…” this past Sunday. And knowing that love is such a big subject to cover we are going to spend the next 5 weeks talking about it using I John as our primary scripture. That tiny little book at the back of our New Testament is written as a word of reassurance that to love is to act.
Our first in the series was titled: “Love is Fellowship.”* Fellowship is more than just hanging out with one another. Fellowship is finding ways to include others. Fellowship is breaking down the barriers to belonging together and to God. Fellowship looks out for the best in another person even if you just met that person. Fellowship, I wholeheartedly believe, is one of the most enduring and beautiful characteristics of LPCC. It’s part of our DNA to be generous with our lives and with one another.
Knowing that love is bigger than fellowship, next we look at “Love is Righteous” and together we will deepen our imaginations of what it means to have an active love.
Grace and peace,
*(If you missed it or want to hear it again look under the tab “This Week’s Message”)
More info about I John can be found at https://www.enterthebible.org/newtestament.aspx?rid=62.
Excerpt from I John 3.11-24
For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
It sure seems a weird way to define love in Easter terms like the cross, the
resurrection, and the ascension. Yet this is what God does showing us that nothing
separates us from God’s love and that we are saved through it.
I have no idea how Jesus arose; all that I know is that he did. I know that in Jesus,
God has brought into being a new creation for all! In this, it is proven that God is love
and love conquers all. I praise God because this all started with God and it moves out to
us, empowering us to love and to share it.
To share love means that we indiscriminately, extravagantly express it to others.
We share it in familiar ways such as love of a family member, the kindness of being a
friend, or an inspirational phrase in a book or song. We can also share God’s love when
we do things that are not as familiar, like choosing today to follow up with a person that’s
been on your mind recently or maybe buy someone’s lunch—just because.
God is calling you to do something specific this week, maybe today. So if you have
been waiting for a nudge to try something new or different, let this be what you need.
Have a great week. Love out loud. And have some fun with it.
Grace and peace,
Romans 5.8 (CEB)
But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
Coming soon to a church near you … Easter! I argue the greatest Holy Days of them all! (I am not discounting Christmas as it is equally important, it’s just that Resurrection shows us again to what great extents God goes to redeem us all though terms of life and death.)
But before we jump quickly to Easter, we have to need to spend some time getting there. By that I mean we have to go with Jesus as he shares a special meal with the disciples showing what love looks like and means. Then it seems to quickly move from an intimate though slightly confusing meal to what seems like chaos as Judas betrays and Peter denies while Jesus is at a “kangaroo court” at which he was sentenced. Jesus is then forced to carry the implement of his death (the cross) to which he was crucified and died. And to top it all off, he is placed in a borrowed tomb, we are told. It is a challenging week and it takes some doing to reflect on the events of this week.
And we don’t do it to be gloomy, but to purposefully remind us to slow down a bit and commemorate that for humanity, death always follows life. But for God and in God’s power life can come from death…resurrection can lead to eternal life for all!
May your Holy Week be a time to reflect on things everlasting, God’s love shown to us in Jesus Christ!
Grace and peace,
Husband, father, minister, child of God, follower of Jesus Christ writing in the context of La Porte Community Church