May Newsletter

Pastor's Note 

I John 4:18 tells us “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” We tend to think that love is easy. In our culture it is depicted in such a way that we can easily believe that we need only love the familiar. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. We certainly know what it is to love our children, our spouses, our parents and our siblings. However, the church is always called to move beyond this, and move toward a more difficult kind of love.

We like to speak about the agape love that Jesus has for us, that kind of unconditional love as it is usually understood. This agape love is not simply good news for you and for me but rather the unveiling of a new world situation, that is a new world order. Yes, Jesus brings forgiveness of sins; but for those who experience this a new and overflowing love is released from us to our neighbors. Those different from ourselves are no longer to be feared but there to be loved. So perfect love in Jesus Christ has the possibility of casting out the fear we once held onto. It is through this love that God takes charge of the world in a whole new way.

It is this kind of love that makes it possible for us to say that peacemakers are blessed, and that we are string when others find us weak, it is what makes it possible for us to stand over graves and say, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. It is quite literally Easter love. It is a love that it held onto lightly because it is a love that needs to be shared. It is this kind of love that not only makes forgiveness possible but necessary, not just between God and us; but especially between neighbors.

This is finally the thing that distinguishes our God from all other gods. Our God loves. Yes, God can be demanding. You cannot take lightly the command to carry your cross every day and follow. But now, in light of the resurrection, the cross is not an emblem of defeat, but a sign of what love looks like. To carry a cross is not to be burdened. To carry a cross is to carry love with you at all times and in all ways. I hope this Spring, you not only find time to enjoy the new signs of life springing into the world, but also find new ways to love yourself, your neighbor, and Jesus.
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