Pastor Jonathan's Monday Reflection:
Love is so central to the church's existence, it is the thing Jesus says will define us, and yet it can be so far from us; seemingly unobtainable because of our sin and pride. It is striking that we let our sin get in the way of love in the place we come to be given the hope of grace to rid us of sin.
But if this is so essential, and we are so bad at it (because we are human) then why even try? Why include this as something vital to the expression of gifts and the ministry of the church? Can't we just come up with a new model that leaves the love out and allows us to insert preference and performance instead? Of course if we did that we would be suggesting we don't need Jesus and that wouldn't be cool.
So what do we do now? Well we know we are meant for this love (agape is the Greek word Paul uses, and this means as you would expect: love, kindness, devotedness). We also know that gifts of the Spirit are pointless without it. We know as well that this love is a gift just the same as other gifts. If this is all true then we pursue it just like the gifts - we ask the Spirit to give it to us so we can share it with each other.
Honestly as I think back over my Christian experience I realize that I have spent far more time praying for miraculous gifts than I have for the miracle of love. I want that to change, and I hope you do as well.
My prayer this week is to this end, that would would experience this love in our body. That as a church we would be recognized for our love and the ministry we are called to in love. May the Spirit pour the love of God into our hearts that we can have an abundance of this love, the life-blood of the church. Pray with me, will you?