"This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." - 1 John 4:10.
Grace to you and peace from God our father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. May our heavenly father bless you this day with the hope of heaven and the joy that comes from knowing and loving Jesus, God's son. Well the winter is finally behind us and the days are filled with life giving rain, the beauty of the sun, birds singing and flowers beginning to bloom. Spring is a time of new beginnings, new life and new love.
In the letter of 1 John, the author desires to remind his readers that love is the reason for the whole Christian thing. A love that is so powerful and so wonderful that it can change the world. Where former drug dealers have become missionaries, where former soldiers have become peacemakers, where churches have dared to step out from behind their walls to love and reach out to the community around them. Love can change everything and make the world new again. The very story of Jesus' life, death and resurrection is about the old fears, loneliness, shame and sin dying and with Jesus we rise to new life and new love.
I have been known to say, the unconditional love of Jesus can change the world. I still believe this with all my heart. This awesome and beautiful love that reaches down from heaven and picks us up when we fall. The real love of Jesus changes the human heart to the point that we want to join this labor of love, by loving others as God loved us, even before we knew him. Spring is time for new life and new love.
And as our brother John puts it so well:
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God." - 1 John 4:7
The Rev. Brian Dykema is the pastor of the Johnstown Reformed Church.