Acts 11:19-30

Psalm 98

1 John 4:1-11

John 15:9-17



“Christian Love”

 

Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen.

 

As I read the many scriptures that revolve around love and as I hear the many songs and speeches throughout the year with regards to the same, occasionally I am reminded of the love I received from my own mother, and today of all days is such a time. Yet in this confusing time where the culture is forcing its expectations on women and most especially mothers, I ask, “What is a mother?” To be more exact, it’s probably better to ask this, “What makes a mother?” Why love, it is a mother’s love that makes the mother. So what is a mother’s love? Instead of using examples of multiple mothers and each of their parenting styles, as well as cultural norms on parenting to help me understand a mother’s love, let us instead look towards God who created women.

 

Women provide something special, something that men cannot provide. And when it comes to parenting, the gifts that God provided for women makes them great mothers, and the gifts that God provided for men make them great fathers. Mothers are not Fathers, nor are Fathers Mothers. Women are not men nor are men women. God made them separately and different so that together in unity they may become whole. It is the reason why we state that in marriage two become one, for one fulfills the other. Man and woman, together in unity, and eventually together in unity through parenting. For it is essential for children to have both a Father and a Mother, working together in ways that only a Father could and a Mother could. Because of this, we acknowledge that God intended that child be raised under the care of a father and a mother, each providing something crucial. For the mother, that is a mother’s love. 

 

Now what is a mother’s love? God has blessed many women, but the one we hear of most is the mother of His Son, Jesus, who is Mary. It is simple, but in Luke after finding Jesus in the temple and going back home it says this about Mary, “And His mother treasured up all these things in her heart.” She treasured carrying Jesus in her womb, she treasured his birth, she treasured raising Him, and she treasured Him even as he walked as a grown man. Mary has gone through a lot, but her salvation was found in bearing Jesus. Do not misunderstand what I say, for I am not suggesting salvation through works. What I am saying is that there is a special kind of joy that only a mother can produce upon seeing their child. It states in Psalm 127:3, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” This is a blessing provided by God; a blessing that wells up within mothers an overwhelming joy. This is a mother’s love. Giving birth to Jesus must have been the happiest day of Mary’s life, and until the day she died, she always treasured her son, her Lord, her Savior.

 

The love a mother possesses is a special kind of love; one that no matter what a child would do, regardless the mother would still love you, treasure you, and worry their poor hearts over. Proverbs is a good source for understanding this, for in chapter 10:1 it reads, “A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.” She will always worry and love you till the day she dies, so instead of being a source of pain, from Proverbs 23:25, “Let your Father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.”

 

As for other verses in Proverbs that refers to mothers, a great source would be Chapter 31:10-31, the ending of Proverbs which lifts up women and proclaims in the eyes of God what is righteous femininity. A good summary is that a mother, a wife, the keeper of the house, is strong, trustworthy, prepared, wise, kind, and worships God.

 

A mother’s love is a remarkable thing, it is a gift given to women first and foremost by God, and has similar qualities to the Love which comes from God, who is the source of love. For God is love itself, and without Him no one is capable of loving. His love is surpasses all understanding, His love is righteous, His love is unconditional, His love shows us what is good. Whatever the world teaches is not love, in fact it is a false image, a pale comparison, twisted by Satan, into that which persecutes true love. For if anyone can love then they love God, in fact if you can love your neighbor, truly love your neighbor, then that is proof that you love God. For only the one who loves God is capable of loving others. And how can you love God if you do not listen to Him? So those who do not listen to God are also incapable of loving thy neighbor, truly love thy neighbor.

 

Yet because of sin, we cannot love God, so out of the surpassing unconditional love of God the Father, did He sent His Son to die on the cross, and serve as a sacrifice for our sins, so that through the salvation that comes from Christ are we capable of loving God. Here is the thing, we cannot love God and because we cannot love Him we cannot love our neighbor, but because God first loved us he gave us the means through faith and not works the ability to love Him and it is through this gracious gift of salvation that not only are we finally capable of loving Him but also through Him our neighbor. This Christian love for our neighbors is not our own but comes from God, the source of all love.

 

God loves us unconditionally, and it worries Him when we act like fools, and the most foolish thing we can do is deny His love. We deny this, and not only do we still live in damnation, but we continue to harm all those around us. God did the most loving thing anyone could do for anyone, He died for our sake. He did this not to only just save us but to also save our communal relationships. He did this so that we may be able to receive the gift of Christian Love and serve our neighbors in a way that is befitting of Christ’s sacrifice.

 

What does this Christian Love look like? It is one that is self-sacrificing. It is one that puts the needs of others before your own. It is one that holds no patience towards evil. It is one that defends others from evil even such defense may cost you dearly. It is one that is courageous in a twisted world. It is one that is wise enough not to confuse the words of demons with the Word of God. It is one that baptizes, teaches, and disciple all nations. It is one that recognizes that the only source of love and salvation and joy and hope is God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is one that has the audacity to provide both Word and Sacrament, acknowledging that, because these are the only sources of God’s Salvation which came from the most loving thing He ever did for Humanity, providing Word and Sacrament is the most loving thing a Christian can do. Yes, speaking the Good News, baptizing your kids as soon as possible, raising Christians, discipling those who are new to the faith, providing the means for Communion, and the willingness to lay down your life like a good shepherd in order to defend the faith, these are all forms of true love, of Christian Love.

 

Out of Christian love we look at our neighbors who do not have Christ in their lives, seeing the turmoil they wallow in and the inevitable damnation they will face, for all are already damned. Yet it is through the grace of God, the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we know that we who do have faith are most definitely saved. So out of Christian love, as we look at our neighbors who do not have Christ in their lives, we act with the goal that they may receive the Holy Spirit and so too be saved. And until that day comes, we like God the Father and like those who possesses a Mother’s Love, would look with a sense of sorrow as we patiently, with long suffering, wait for the day that they too like us are saved. That is Christian love. That is what it means to possess the love of Christ in one’s own heart. And of course, none of this is possible, whether it is Christian love or a Mother’s love, without the aid of God who ultimately the source of love, for God is love.




Let us pray,

 

 

Dear Heavenly Father, source of life and all that is good, you who possess all knowledge and wisdom, and determines the nature of all things, we ask that you provide for us your humble servants a portion of your loving kindness, the wisdom to recognize this love, and the strength to express it. In your most holy name we pray, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Bible Verse of the Day

Contact Us

Address
2370 N.E. Catawba Road
Port Clinton, Ohio 43452
Phone
(419) 797-4628