So, I f you asked me to sum up the Christian Faith in one word, that word would be love. It’s what Jesus came for, what he taught, what he died for, what he rose again for…it is the mission he passed on to his disciples.
And preachers are great at encouraging their people to be more loving. To ask themselves what Jesus would do. That’s a good thing. People should know us by our love.
But I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how we receive love. This is less-talked-about in sermons. Nadia Bolz-Weber spoke about this in a beautiful sermon she wrote for Maundy Thursday, back in April (that was – what – 10 years ago now?!). She wrote about how Jesus was so good at receiving love. That he did it with grace and strength, not shying away at all. That Jesus models for us how we should receive love.
And then I was watching an Andrew Peterson video clip on YouTube, and he spoke about how easy it is for him to believe God loves others, but how hard it is to believe that God loves HIM.
Both these things resonated with me. I find it hard to receive love (or sometimes even simple compliments!). I find it easy to heap love upon others.
I’m working on that. Trying to be better to gracefully accept love when it is given to me. And I want to encourage you to do the same. I know you’re good at giving love! But how are you at receiving it? How are you at believing you are actually WORTHY of it?
Ultimately, that is how God addresses you: beloved.
Until tomorrow, dear friends, please work at believing that God loves you, that God feels you are worthy of his love.