This week we celebrated Bread for the World Sunday, and David Gist talked to us about love. Specifically, that in love there is no fear. What are the things that we fear that keep us from love? Jesus comes to send away fear, we no longer fear our neighbor, whatever their race, immigration status, politics, etc. And more than that, we turn the other way to love and act for our neighbor. As a response David invited us to write letters to our representative on behalf of sentencing and prisoner re-entry reform. This is just one way that we show love, but importantly, love is not something that we simply feel, but something we enact, and we enact in such a way that our fears will not hold us back. David read this week from 1 John 4:16b-21:
16b God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them. 17 This is how love has been perfected in us, so that we can have confidence on the Judgment Day, because we are exactly the same as God is in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love because God first loved us. 20 If anyone says, I love God, and hates a brother or sister, he is a liar, because the person who doesn’t love a brother or sister who can be seen can’t love God, who can’t be seen. 21 This commandment we have from him: Those who claim to love God ought to love their brother and sister also.
Give David’s sermon a listen. Note that in the middle we didn’t record the John reading, but feel free to pause and read that section in John’s Gospel (the true vine); and think about these questions:
- What do we learn in this passage and from God about love?
- What fear causes us from truly being those who show forth God’s love in the world?
For convenience sake, there is also a podcast available. You can find that here.