September 17, 2019
Scripture: 1st John 4:7
Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God.
Thought for the Day: I know a lot of people who love, and do so in powerful ways, but they claim to be atheists or agnostics. The author of 1st John expresses the belief that “everyone” who loves is born from God and knows God, and this argument is concluded in the next verse where we read, “…because God is love.” Now I could stir a big debate here from many different directions, but as a pastor, many of the folks who I come across who claim the designation of atheist or agnostic have, in fact, been injured or expelled by the church. The very institution birth and inspired by the Spirit of Love has rejected its core value and mission. Many of these people love from a place of deep conviction and a commitment to high moral standard, but because the idea of God is attached to the concept of church, they have chosen to distance themselves… and in many situations, I would have probably done the same. So how does the church respond? This is where those of us in the church must double down in our devotion to the power of love, while also being confessional about our failures. There are probably many places where followers of Christ can serve alongside atheists without anyone compromising their beliefs or non-beliefs. And at the end of the day, if what we see is love in these other people, don’t we need to acknowledge that they are born of God and know God…just maybe by a different name.
Prayer: Keep me focused on the multitude of opportunities to love. Keep my focused, O Source of Love, for I can become defensive or frustrated, distracted or consumed with the wrong agenda. Keep me on the task of loving this world you love so much. Amen.
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