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Wednesday Wondering - April 24, 2024

Scripture

1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7

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


1 Corinthians 13: 14

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


John 3: 16

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


Reflection

Can you guess what I have been wondering about lately? Yes, love! I have been wondering about this thing that we call love. So many of you might not know but I love love. I love, love songs. I love watching romantic movies. To be honest I know that many of these movies are not great movies, but I just really enjoy watching them. I guess some might call me a softy, but I think for me it goes deeper than that. It is all about our attitude in the world today, and trust me I know that the world is challenging, but I believe that we have a role to play in the world, an important role.


I was asked once if I could distill my entire theology (for those of you who might not know this word it simple means how we talk about God) in one sentence. This was a huge challenge, but I eventually, after much pondering and consideration, came to John 3: 16. In this one passage I see my belief about God summed up. God is love. God is present with us, through Jesus, because of this love. God, in Jesus, because we are loved desires relationship with each of us. This is my theology of God in a nutshell. God loves us, God came in Jesus because God loves us, and God desires relationship with us, through Jesus. It is easy for me to understand this and yet what does it mean to me, what might it mean to you. 


The readings from 1 Corinthians speak to love as well. They speak to all of these wonderful attributes of love and how love allows us to carry on through times of strife and struggle. This can be so comforting, but again I wonder what does this truly mean to us. What does it mean for us to love? I know that the love that we are called to is not the love that is portrayed in those movies that I watch. I know that the love that we are called to is more that that, but what might it be?


Author A.R. Lucas speaks to love in the following way, “We’ve been infected with this idea that love is an emotion only felt between two people. But love is universal. An energy. A contagious force. To offer money to a homeless man is to love. To save a worm from the sun is to love. To smile at a stranger is to love. To be grateful, to be hopeful, to be brave, to be forgiving, to be proud is to love.” To love is an attitude. It is an understanding that our actions matter, not just to ourselves, but to others as well. To love is to see that even when things are difficult we need to know that the words we use, the actions we take are important.


As Christians we talk a lot about love. We speak about of love of God and our love of Jesus, but in so many ways that love is easy for us, what about the challenging love in our lives? I would like to pass along this uncredited reflection today, “Hours before the death of Jesus, Judas ate too. Jesus fed Judas too. Jesus prayed for Judas too. Jesus washed Judas’ feet too. I struggle to fathom what kind of love this is….. A love that would feed the mouth that deceived you. A love that would wash the feet of the traitor. A love that could forgive the vilest of betrayals. Honestly I struggle to comprehend it. And then, suddenly, I realize..that I’m Judas too! And in that moment, I’m so thankful and altogether overwhelmed that, Judas ate too. The true test of Christianity is not about loving Jesus, but loving Judas. Showing love to someone like Jesus is so easy. But loving someone hard to love, a sinner like Judas is difficult. That’s what following Jesus is all about.” To love is to see ourselves in Judas, and still love ourselves. To truly love is to love, not only when it is easy, but when it is difficult. To love is to know that each of our actions and every one of our words have consequence. To love is to know that in following Jesus we are called to love Judas, as Judas ate too. To love is not just a fuzzy warm feeling, but a decision that we make each and every day, many times a day, to live in love with all others and with the world. Love is not easy, it takes work, but to love is truly the greatest gift of all. 


Prayer

God of infinite love, we ask that you teach us to love as you love. Give us courage to love, not only when it is easy, but also when it is challenging. Help us to never forget that we are Judas too and yet you continue to love us. Give us the strength to love each day as you call us to love, making the decision to choose love each and every day. We ask this in the name of Love Incarnate, your son, Jesus. Amen.

Peace and blessings,

Rev. Patrick Woodbeck

Gordon-King Memorial United Church/ The Bid Red Church

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