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February 2016

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Witness To Love

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day! A day full of “mushy” love (as the pastor called it), romantic and grand gestures, flowers and loads of chocolates. I love Valentine’s Day–I love Hallmark movies, chocolate, flowers, red hearts and Valentine’s Day sweaters (yes, I bought myself a Valentine’s sweater). In the society that we live in, it is almost engrained in us to despise Valentine’s Day if we are single–but thankfully I have a wonderful mother who taught me that Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate all those you love, just a bit more than you usually do. It is not just a day for couples it is a day for all lovers and I hope that we all choose to be lovers.

I went to church yesterday, I was, of course, running late. I rushed into the Church, expecting to see not too many people (usually the crowd is quite slim at the traditional service) and imagine my surprise, when I was greeted with quite a significant crowd–a lot of babies as well. Maybe it comes from my Christian Education days, but I am a firm believer of babies and children in church, it warms my heart to see the little children or babies and to hear the little baby noises. I am not sure if it is the part of my being that hopes to one day be a mother or just that I remember Jesus saying “let the children come” (Matthew 19:14) but seeing a baby, especially a baby baptism, it touches a place in my heart that can only be the work of the Holy Spirit. And that my dear friends is what was happening, the church was full of family and friends celebrating the baptism of a baby (I usually tear up at baby baptisms, they just hit me in the heart when I realize that it is the promise of the parents and the church to raise that baby in the knowledge that they are a child of God). As I sat in that church and watched a family make the promise to raise that baby with the knowledge that they are a precious child of God, as I repeated the words promising to help the parents in any way I could and as I listened to the preacher preach a sermon about love–I realized that I am a witness to love every single day.

Fortunately, I have been surrounded by so much love and continue to be surrounded by so much love. But yesterday in that church, I sat there and I really looked–I saw how the parents coddled and smiled at their babies, I saw the love the family had for that little baby getting sprinkled and I realized I am just getting a glimpse of the love that is in this world. I realized that I get to be a part of the love in this world; that I get to celebrate my friends who have discovered love in the form of a {future or current} spouse, I get to love my friends and family and even strangers, I get to love and spread love. Today I was walking down the street, I passed an older couple and I saw love, the older man walked over to (presumably) his wife and placed a hat on her head. I saw love. I witnessed love while sitting in my pew at church yesterday.

I wrote a post about a year ago, titled “Warrior for Love” and I still believe in my heart today that I am called to be a warrior for love. I have not been doing my best to live into that call lately I am afraid, but I do still believe it to be true in my heart. Yesterday, as the pastor preached about the first Sunday in Lent and what true love is, I realized, yet again, the power we do have. My brothers and sisters, we have the power to celebrate love, share love, receive love and to defend love. Love is the most powerful force in this world–and no matter the evil that always seems to lurk–love will always triumph.

1 Corinthians 13:13:

“And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”

We are in the season of Lent and as we make our way to the cross, I know I need to really dig into and think about the price Jesus paid. The love that he has for us.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,” that line right there strikes something into my heart. True love is overwhelming and it is so hard to believe that someone could truly love us so much, I have a hard time believing it or appreciating it. Too many times I have written it off and taken that love for granted, but maybe as I make my way to the cross during this season of Lent, I will ponder just what this: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…” and maybe I will be more appreciative.

I think that in this season of Lent I should “put on thankfulness.” I am too often so selfish, always wanting more and never stopping to really be thankful, especially towards God. I want my hands to be upturned in praise towards God, I want to stop focusing so much on me and turn to those around me, being thankful for them and to love and serve them. This season of Lent I want to go into the hard spots to learn to be thankful for the good and the bad, to celebrate life and love. As I make my way to the cross I want to thank my God for what he has done for not only me, but for the world–I don’t want to take for granted his sacrifice.

I want to love hard and fiercely, defend love and celebrate with joyful thanksgiving that there is love in this world and that we get to experience it.

1 Corinthians 13: 1-8

“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if i have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.”

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. May you be witnesses to all the love that surrounds you and may you be givers of love, as well as, receivers. Peace, Joy, Love and Blessings–Margaret