Thursday, May 22, 2014

Moving our expressions of love beyond mere words (1 John 3:18)

SCRIPTURE: 1 John 3:18 (TM) - larger reading 1 John 3:1-18
My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love.

Looking for a gift or just a unique way to say "I love you?" What do you give when his dresser is full of cologne and you're both on diets? When she thinks flowers die too soon, and you've already spent next month's paycheck?

It’s birthday time or Christmas or Mother’s Day or Wedding Anniversary or a hundred other possibilities that require something special to say “I love you” and we get stumped. Our backs are against the wall. Our minds are pulled in many directions. We just don’t know what to get, but we need to get something.

I have often admired people who have found creative ways to express their love for those significant people in their lives. The Rev. Dr. John Hock was the founding pastor of my home church. He and his dear wife Catherine were very special people. When they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary I remember Catherine sharing that John writes little “I love you” notes and places them throughout the house. In 50 years no two notes were ever the same. A few years after Catherine had passed away John shared that he is still finding the notes that his wife had written. He finds them stuck in his underwear drawer or between the pages of one of his books or buried deep in a cereal box or inside a bag in the freezer. After the grave their love still was being kindled… WOW!

The scripture admonishes us to “practice real love” – finding unique and meaningful ways to express our love for others – regardless of who or what they might be.

I remember one Lenten study the participants were challenged to do some act of kindness as a sign of love for someone in the group … secretly. The secret part became quite the challenge and some of the schemes were very creative. What impressed me was that when I returned many years later to participate in the dedication of their new sanctuary one member of that Lenten small group was still practicing the “secret act of love”, but now she had expanded it to include others in the church and community. The joy in her face was remarkable. I believe that she had discovered the meaning behind the scripture lesson.

So today pick one person and do something for them, an act of kindness and an expression of love without them knowing it. Let’s move our Christian commitment beyond the talking stage and let’s see what kind of impact we can have in our communities.


Help us to become instruments of your Kingdom. Help us to become doers of the word. Help us to move our love from words into actual living actions.

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