Love is at the heart of the Christian faith. "God is love," John tells us. When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus replied, "It's love!" No, he didn't say it like that, but he summarized the essence of God's law as loving God with all of who we are and loving our neighbors as ourselves. As the author David Benner says, we are "created from love and for love." What's love got to do with it? Quite a lot, it turns out. Love is a big deal.
And it's always been a big deal for us at Christ Pres. Many years ago, long before I was part of the picture, Christ Pres described itself as a "fellowship of love." That emphasis continues as we seek to be a community that knows, shows, and grows the love of Christ. Hopefully you've experienced God's love and the love of other Christians as you've worshipped together, shared potlucks together, participated in community groups together, gone on mission trips together, served around the city together, or attended one of our harvest parties (that's coming up on October 20, by the way). We want our life together to be shaped by love. And in so many ways it is!
And in so many ways, we have room to grow in love. In fact, the Christian life just is a life of growing in love. It's not the kind of growth that's meant to stop. We want Christ Pres to be a little school of love, as we recognize in new ways the depths of God's love for us in Christ, and as we help each other grow into the loving likeness of Jesus.
That's why, beginning on September 30, and running until November 18, we are going to be diving deep into the theme of Christian love. For those seven weeks, we'll try to connect everything we do together as a congregation to this theme. The sermons we preach, the songs we sing, our community groups, our children's and youth ministry, will all be exploring love--God's love for us, and the love we're invited to share with others.
Keep an eye on The Love Blog as we move through the fall. We'll keep it updated with content and resources that might aid our growth in Christian love (and if you have ideas for things to include on it, please let me know!). I'm looking forward to seeing how the Lord uses this season to shape us.
Thankful for you all, and with you in Jesus,