Thought for the Day: The very thing that gave us life we do not seem to recognize. This light, as I will talk about in my sermon this morning, is the light of love – self-giving, self-sacrificing love. What experiences in your life have defined love for you? In reality, most people have both good and bad experiences that shape their understanding of love. What we expect and what we see is filtered through those many experiences, and though we would like to make Jesus the single lens through which we understand love, it is rarely that way.
I often say I am a pastor, not a counselor. In fact, I had just enough counseling classes in graduate school to be dangerous. With all seriousness, I have always been intrigued by the number of times someone has said in conversations, “Wow, I hadn’t realized just how bothered I was by…” Some past moment was sitting under the surface, with a whole lot more authority than the person realized. When it was finally named, there was some initial discomfort, but it was quickly followed by an aha moment. Even some of the more put together people in this world are carrying around baggage, but what makes most of them pretty put together is an ongoing naming (through counseling, supportive friends, coaching, accountability partners, spiritual direction, etc.) of those experiences in the past. It would be nice if we could just print off a list, but even though some of the stuff is pretty straightforward, other stuff requires some honest digging. The more we understand what shapes our understanding of love the more we will be able to love like Jesus.
Prayer: Though it can be a bit frightening to look under the surface of our souls, O Lord, I trust that you will walk with me wherever that journey takes me. Though some of it is painful or embarrassing, discomforting or weighty, I know that you will help me find the right people to explore all that shapes my perception of love. The more I explore, the more I will be able to share and receive the gift of love. Let it begin! Amen.
TODAY — SUNDAY
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