|Posted on February 16, 2018 at 2:45 AM|
A NOTE FROM YOUR PASTOR:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In February we often think of Valentine’s Day and the promise of romantic love. But the Bible tells us that love is greater than romantic love. It is self-giving in the name of Jesus Christ. To love means to lay down our lives for our friends (yes, and even for our enemies) through the power of the indwelling Christ. How can we lay down our lives? It starts in small ways. One way is through the giving of our time.
We’ve all heard the expression “time is money.” But time is the stuff of life. We give of ourselves by the giving of our time. One important way to give of our time is through listening to others, one-on-one. Jesus was a great listener. He went into villages where the sick and demon-possessed came to him for healing. Frequently he spent all day with sick people—listening to their complaints and hearing them describe their ailments. First of all, Jesus asked people what they wanted, then He listened compassionately before healing them. As individuals described their afflictions and spoke of their faith in Jesus, they felt relief. “Your faith has made you well,” Jesus told them. First He would listen, then He would heal.
Listening is also an important tool for healing and for helping us to relate to one another in a caring and compassionate way. To listen to another is often the way the Lord opens the door for us to share Christ. Christ died to ransom us from the power of sin and selfishness. He laid down His life for us. When we are born again in Jesus Christ His Spirit lives in us leading and guiding us to lay down our lives for others through something as simple as listening. We listen to others out of our love for Christ who leads us to love our neighbor.
The body of Christ, the church, is meant to be a unity where each part cares for every other part and all are built up, in love, toward the head, Jesus Christ. We see that for us to go and to listen to others offers a real way to love in the same spirit as Jesus. In addition, listening to others’ needs and concerns in church shows us how to pray for them; listening also reveals ways to help others. We find that as we pray for others and help them in different ways, we are joined together in love. Then the Spirit will open the opportunity for us to speak to them of Christ—the one who empowers our listening.
May you each grow in your love for one another as you listen and truly hear in the name of Jesus Christ. Happy Valentine’s Day!
My love be with you all in Christ,