Return to love, Christ’s love
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    Soul Rythem

    Today, every day we are called to love

    Today on Valentine’s Day, I am meditating on  the call to worship that Minister Aleisha Langhorne offered at church yesterday. It ‘s profound simplicity spoke to me about the nature of love that God beckons each of us to.

    Here is what Min. Langhorne said:

    “God calls us to a ministry of love.

    Beloved, love us one another.

    We are called to love our parents and our children, our friends and our neighbors.

    Love is from God.

    We are called to love the neighbor that hurt our feelings, the parent who was cruel, and the co-worker who is selfish.

    Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

    We are called to love even the people we cannot see all over the world.

    Those who love God must love their sisters and brothers also.

    May we accept God’s call to this mysterious ministry.”

    This spiritual view of love goes beyond the card-chocolate-roses-diamonds-and-gold versions of love we celebrate on this day. It is a love that makes all of richer for its grace and power, its inclusion and its sharing.  It speaks of deep wells from which we can draw care and concern for loved ones, acquaintances and even strangers. It is my prayer that I can love like Jesus commands in Matt: 22:37-40 and  even Luke 6:27. (I am a work in progress especially in a couple of these areas.)

    I enjoy Valentine’s Day, all the while knowing that I don’t have to wait until Feb. 14 to receive or send my husband beautiful red roses. But it is wonderful to share a special moment with my loved ones and to spread tokens of love to others on this day.  I delight in hearing stories about couples who have found their soul mates and those who have enduring love relationships such as the couple married 80 years mentioned today in this Washington Post story.

    On Saturday when I entered the church office for a meeting, I saw a desk covered with tiny pink boxes, lollipops, plastic baggies and miniature Valentines cards.  Shortly afterwards, two young girls returned to desk and began assembling their Valentine gifts to give to their classmates at school today. They worked busily while a parent attended choir rehearsal. The scene reminded of the years my own children did the same thing – sharing candy and heart-shaped cards that nudged, “Be My Valentine.”  

    Today many of us will continue to give some pleasureable gift to someone else in name of Love. What would be better, though, is if every one of us would share Love in the name of God every day to all those we encounter. It is what we are called to do.

     If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

     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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

     And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:1-3

    How are you sharing God’s love today?

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