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December 26, 2014, 9:40 AM

Sharing God's Love

Introducing a Year of Sharing God's Love
“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is
born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is
love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the
world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that
he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God
loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we
love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:7-12
(NRSV)
I'm looking forward to 2015. Our church has adopted “A Year of Sharing God's Love” as a theme for
the year. As themes go, this is a pretty good one. It's hard to do better than to emphasize love. Everyone
loves to be loved. It is one of the essentials that makes us human. And, according to the New
Testament, love is our connection with God, who is Love.
But, for all the talk about love, all the songs about love, I don't see much love in the world. Here's what
I see. More cruelty and carnage and manifest evil in the Middle East than I've known my entire life.
More human trafficking and slavery in the world than I ever realized was happening in our time. And
not only in other parts of the world, but in our own country! Children in many parts of the world who
are orphaned and hungry and unwanted as refugees. There is an ever-increasing level of poverty worldwide
and in the United States. I could go on with this list, as you could too.
Here is what I believe: for all the suffering and alienation and hopelessness that is experienced in the
world, there is still something more. It is still God's world. As it says in Hebrews, “Yet at present we do
not see everything in subject to him. But we see Jesus....” (Hebrews 2:8-9) In Jesus we see the heart of
God. He has compassion. He has broken into our imperfect human condition and, while we were still
sinners, still “unlovable”, he loved us. We didn't love him. He loved us. With all our selfishness,
complacency, fear, anger, frustration, despair, and failure, he loves us. That's what I dare to believe.
I have three questions for you:
1. How can I feel closer to God?
2. How can I be sure that God loves me?
3. What is love?
The answer to all three is found in the scripture at the beginning of this little article. To feel loved, to
know God, and to know what love really is can only be experienced by loving. By loving someone. By
loving someone even if they aren't all that lovable. John goes on to say how can you (claim to) love
God whom you haven't seen if you can't even love your brother whom you have seen—and who, by the
way, is another child of God?
So that is our challenge as members and friends of First Christian Church, San Marcos, for the year
2015. We are going to try to share God's love, not only with one another, but also with people who may
not love us back, but who still need to be loved by someone. By you, and me. We are going to start
with the basics of simple acts of kindness and thoughtfulness. Not by impulse, but by deliberate
planning and personal commitment. If we are willing to love someone else, even for no apparent
reason, we give to everyone something different, something very attractive, something hopeful. And we
give to ourselves something that could change our lives forever.


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