Formation Fridays: Love

As we close this season of Advent for the year, the final theme is Love.

 

Scripture speaks often of love. In the Hebrew Scriptures, God describes the love

given to humanity as chesed. This word is often translated as faithful love, steadfast

love, or loving kindness. It is a covenant love; a vow given between parties in a sacred

ceremony.

 

At Creation, God looked at all things created and called them beautiful: the sky, the

stars, the trees, the streams, the animals, the people, all of it. God called all of it

beautiful. God has never looked on this world with anything but love. It is for this very

reason, that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16).

 

NT Wright said that when we read that famous verse from John, we read the words,

but what we often hear is, “For God so hated the world that he killed his only Son.”

That is a very different way of looking at that passage.

 

This is not what we read in Scripture, it is simply how we hear it. God loves the world.

God is even pleased with mankind (Luke 2:14 NLT). God created in love. God gave of

God’s-self in love. God cannot not love, because “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God

entered the world in Jesus Christ in love. Jesus lived a life of love, and he called us to

do likewise. So much so, that he says that the world will know that we are his by our

love (John 13:35).

 

My reflection for myself as this year has drawn to a close is, “Am I a more loving

person than I was last year?” That is my encouragement for all of us as we close this

year, as we reflect on our year following Jesus: are our hearts more open, are our lives

more free, are we able to embrace ‘the other,’ whomever that may be? In the areas

where we have found victory, we celebrate. In the areas where we have found

ourselves lacking, we give ourselves grace.

 

We are calling 2018 the Year of Love. We will be exploring love as a theme here in our

Formation Fridays posts for the year. Our prayer is that as a community we can grow in

our love together and share God’s love for the world.

 

Grace and peace,

Todd King

Associate Pastor

Britney KingComment