February is the month we celebrate love. As Christians, we first celebrate God’s love. John writes, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live though him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:7-11) Love begins and ends with God. It is because God has first loved us that we can love one another.
This love that God enables is greater than we are and greater than our feelings for one another. Love is a way of acting toward others that shows forth the love of God. The Apostle Paul puts it this way, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always, perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a) It’s a tall order, but with God all things are possible. So let’s focus on loving others as Christ loves us.
February 13 is the beginning of Lent, the Forty day period of preparation for Easter. It’s a time to reflect on God’s amazing love for us in Jesus’ death and resurrection and to examine our love for God and others. I encourage you to join us for worship at 7 PM on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 13) and to use the “Committed to Christ” daily devotional guide that will supplement weekly Sunday messages. These will be available at church.
My prayer for Lent is that we grow in love and commitment during this Holy season.
In Christ’s love,
PS. I hope you’ll join us for the many fellowship opportunities this month:
- February 2 Chili Cook-off
- February 9 Friendship Dinner
- February 12 Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner
You’ll find more information about these meals in the Hinge.
Also, on February 10, we will be welcoming back The Reverend John Cooke, a former Aldersgate pastor, who will bring the message that morning.