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Known as Christians by our love

One comment below a version of the song in the video above called it the “battle cry of the 60’s and 70’s Jesus movement”. I can remember loving this song in my early childhood. It had such a call to action. It felt like a call to go out into the world to share love. Even as a child I sang this with fervor and conviction feeling inspired to be united with other followers of Jesus. We sang about working side by side, to guard each person’s dignity and saving each person’s pride so that we will be known as Christians not only by words proclaimed but by love lived out.

This weekend we hear 1 Corinthians 13 read in worship. The best known chapter on love in the Bible. Used at weddings, cross stitched on pillows, used as something to strive toward. The last verse as translated in the Message is something that I would invite you to “take to heart this week”. Here is 1 Corinthians 13:13 in the Message:

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Paul is writing to a community in conflict, encouraging them to live a different way. To live not by the standards of the day but to live by a love that has been given to them. Jesus summarized all of the commandments in this: “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself”.

We aren’t that far from Valentines Day where love will be spoken and shared in cards and chocolates and romantic dinners. The love that Jesus gives to us is so much more! And that is the love we are called to share- the agape love. A love freely given that comes from God and that we freely and unconditionally share with others. Love is on my mind as I prepare to visit with family.

My aim is to show up with my whole heart. In our families, with our neighbors, at school and work and in the world Jesus calls us to share the love we have so freely been given. This is how we will share with others Christ- by sharing a love that knows no limits. This week I invite you to ask yourself -what does it mean to you to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself"? We talk about this in Confirmation, in Sunday school, at youth events, in bible studies. How this week will you take action?

This week I challenge you to pause and ask, how on a daily basis you are sharing and showing the love of Christ? Consider bringing food items for our food drive for the 244th Battalion. Consider showing up the weekend of February 8 &9 when we make coffee, serve bagels, set up the food bank and just talk with the soldiers. All month long we are collecting new or gently used coats and tennis shoes for Clothes for Kids. There are so many ways to show and share love! Let’s do this together. Together let's Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. Let’s keep letting the light of Christ shine in our actions. Blessings on this journey of following Jesus one footstep at a time.

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