Have you ever been in love with someone who didn’t love you back?
It’s a terrible feeling. There is nothing you can DO. You can be at your best, try your hardest, bend over backwards, but there is no amount of effort, success, honor, fame, or fortune that can make someone love you.
If we’ve had that kind of experience of unrequited, unanswered, love with the ‘person of our dreams’, how much more devastating would it be to have an unrequited, unanswered love for the God of the universe?
Imagine for a moment feeling like we had to constantly step-up to impress our God, to be noticed, to be cared for. Imagine if we had to spend day after day after day devising ever new and spectacular works to make ourselves look successful, honorable, and worthy of love in God’s eyes.
What a miserable existence life would be.
I think we might take God’s grace for granted sometimes. We say, “well of course God loves us, that’s why Jesus came”. But, the fact that God loves us should not be taken for granted. The fact that anyone (our spouse, our family, our friends) loves us should not be taken for granted. People love us because they choose to love us.
We cannot earn God’s love. God loves us because God chooses to love us. And, God saves us because, in love, God chooses to save us
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
The best love stories are NOT the ones where someone is compelled to be at their best, to try their hardest, to bend over backwards in order to ‘win’ the love of someone else. The best love stories are the ones filled with inspired works of faith, hope, kindness, generosity, and affection that come when two people are in love.
As Christians, we are what God (in God’s love) has made us: created in Christ to a way of life filled with love, and expressed in good works inspired by this love. When we take up this life together... church is born!
This week we are celebrating the 'love story' that is St. Andrew United Methodist Church. 50 years ago, a faithful group of people came together to form this community of faith. Their trust in God's grace and love inspired them to do many good works of faith, hope, and love both within the walls of the church and outside the walls of the church.
Their legacy continues today with the people of this generation of St. Andrew UMC. Together we continue to welcome all to where Christ is the center, love is the answer, and serving is the mission!
We are God's handiwork!