February is here and "Love" is often associated with the month. We hear and read a lot about love this time of year. For one day a year we are encouraged to express our love for that special someone with card, flowers, candy or gift. We shouldn't need to be reminded that love unexpressed is no love at all. Nor that it is not a one-day a year occurrence. But maybe some do need to be reminded or opportunities will slip by, leaving some feeling unloved. The Scripture tells us that God loves us and expressed that love in a very tangible way. What is our response to that love?
The Gospel tells us that the mark of a disciple (or follower) of Jesus is love. How are we doing? Long before St. Valentine (actually, I believe the day was the idea of a greeting card company and has become very commercialized - but still a nice idea) claimed a day in February in which we are to express love to those special to us, Jesus said it was to be an everyday experience among his followers. I believe that I have witnessed much love expressed by the members of this church for each other and for those outside our fellowship. Love is a verb. It is not just a feeling. It requires effort and sometimes sacrifice. It also means getting to know others so that you can help meet their need. If you don't know, you cannot act in love.
Sometimes love has a cost, but the end result can be renewed strength and the wonderful quality of peace. You can't love or be loved if you are not here, if able. And it is not just being here - but being interlocked and connected together that makes the church work. I look forward to your growth as a church in following Jesus and enjoying it in the process.
May our God richly bless you in all things in the days, months and years ahead!
Love Pastor Tom