August 9, 2013

Love Is A Choice (Teaching for a wedding)

We use the word “love” carelessly. It is a verb, and action word. Love is something we chose to do. The Readings remind us that God is the source of all love. The Joshua Reading teaches us that God’s love – and all love, requires a response. Without a response love can turn into grief, anger and even hatred. St. John gives us the very good news that God loves us with an extravagant, self-sacrificial love. When we really grasp this, our response is to love God’s creation – and especially other people. But God has loved us enough to give us freedom - so we have to make a choice.

1. Joshua called the Hebrew people to choose which god to honour
·         Scene is just after the conquest of Palestine around 1,200 BC
·         People had settled down, prospered and intermarried
·         Some had begun worshiping other gods – idols etc.
·         Like our time when many people worship materialism etc.
·         Joshua called on them to make a real choice – to “come home”
·         Weddings are a time to make a real choice to love one person
·         Weddings are also a time to chose a church community where your life can be enriched by spiritual teaching, experience and fellowship

2. St. John reminds us that we love others if we know God loves us
·         Real letter written by a real person in the First Century
·         Summarises the Good News of God’s love & forgiveness
·         Jesus demonstrated a new kind of self-sacrificial love
·         This choice breaks our stubborn hearts – when we “get it”
·         Christians respond by loving Jesus, repenting their rebellion and turning to Him for forgiveness and reconciliation
·         When we are reconciled the Holy Spirit can live in us
·         Holy Spirit gives us the love, joy and peace we need to love others

3. Love is a choice to put the good of the other first
·         Rarely have to die – do have to help with cleaning and dishes
·         Wives need to feel physically and emotionally protected
·         Husbands need to feel they are respected

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