Rise And Shine For Love!

God is love and we are God’s children. And as children of God we seek to pattern our lives according to the main characteristic of the God we love because God loved us first. Nobody will ever love us as deeply, eternally, or in such a purely unconditional manner than God has provided for us throughout our lives. We are continually reaching for ways to be more like God through the model that Jesus showed us.

In the light of Jesus’ life example of giving love to everyone he encountered in special ways, we have a great opportunity to show genuine love to the hurting and disfavored people of this world in the very difficult circumstances that we are facing presently. It is a perfect opportunity to be the children of God that we have agreed to be in spirit and through our actions. God has called each of us to do our part individually, and as a church body, to ensure that the commandment that we show Godly love is carried out daily. It is our loving response to God’s loving sacrifice for us all.

This empathetic response is also expressed in the Bible book of Romans 13:8-14. Verse 8 reads, “Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” All the commandments of the law are summed up in Romans 13:9b-10, “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

And we are, for the most part, giving genuine signs of love, through our actions, words, and prayers to those near to us and far away. We are trying hard to make sure that we follow that commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. I have seen the evidence of it in how we have cared for those in our families, friends, and church family.

And also we are showing love and care for individuals, families, business owners, and the police who are all in need of help in various ways. Many of the people in need have been left in desperate circumstances in our communities during the pandemic and those suffering economic hardships brought on by the destructive actions of people who have been literally on the margins of our society for so long that few people think about them at all except when there are heinous crimes reported in their communities. Though, now I have noticed a condition that is a common hindrance to our efforts to show love, especially in these times of upheaval and social despair, that I believe is spiritual and emotional inertia.

We have been awakened to the fact that many of the social ills that have been thought to have been in the process of being resolved or we thought were resolving themselves, were not resolved and actually were very far away from being resolved and this has brought on a sense of exhaustion that has overcome some of us. Those who suffer from it find it more difficult to be pulled out of the spiritual and emotional fatigue that has become more prevalent since we have been dealing with a viral pandemic, social and racial unrest, and a sharply divisive political climate.

But all is not lost, there is reason for great hope, as the book of Romans 13 encouraged its readers in verse 11b, “For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near.” However, earlier in verse 11, Paul, the author of Romans, wrote something that we must do to take advantage of his clarion call to action through God’s love. Read the first part of verse 11 and let us pray on how we can be ready to help this world experience salvation through love in these hard times.

Copyright © 2018 First United Methodist Church, Downers Grove. Please report any problems to webmaster@dgfumc.org.