From the Pastor's Desk
Friends, I have nothing profound to say to you. I have read nothing profound, nothing thought provoking … and so when I was told that today is my deadline for the newsletter, I spent the day struggling with a blank.
But then I read the devotion from Seedbed Daily Text and part of it seemed like something I should pass on. The author, a substitute author named Omar Al-Rikabi, writes about 3 John (the letter in the back of the book, not the Gospel), verses 9-10. He’s talking about at leader who plays politics in the church to stay in power and get more power, and how, when he faced that for the first time he was seriously shaken. After all, the church is supposed to be more than, bigger than, purer than the world, right? We are supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves – God’s definition of love, though … not ours. In this day of politics dominating our conversations, our news media, our thoughts … it occurred to me that we could use a reminder of what God’s love is, so I am sharing this from Omar’s article. Read, and perhaps put into use … and let’s see how the world will change.
“So what’s our metric for love? It’s found in the most famous wedding Scripture that has nothing to do with a wedding: 1 Corinthians 13. Paul talks about having all the roles and results of church leadership, but without love it is just noise. Then he gives us the definition of love we’re looking for:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
Here’s an exercise to put in your Bible, tape to your mirror, or hang on your fridge: Write down each description of love, then cross out “love is” and insert “am I?” or “do I?” It will look like this:
1. Am I patient? 9. Am I kind?
2. Am I jealous? 10. Am I boastful?
3. Am I proud? 11. Am I rude?
4. Do I demand my own way? 12. Am I irritable.?
5. Do I keep a record of wrongs? 13. Do I rejoice in injustice?
6. Do I I rejoice when truth wins? 14. Do I give up?
7. Do I lose faith? 15. Am I always hopeful?
8. Do I endure through every circumstance?
So take inventory, because the world is watching. This is not a self-serving love. It is a love for others because Christ first loved us and gave his life for us. We call it Holy Love.”