Sunday Message: For A Beautiful, Post-Covid Church (1 Cor 13)

No one knows what the post-covid church look like – but it could be beautiful! Want to be a part of something beautiful? 15:30

God is love! 

The eternal nature of God’s love.  Love has an object.

And love takes initiative.  We love because he first loved us.  (I John 4:19)  If we want to know how to love others better, dwell on the love of God.

Creation is the overflow of God’s love spoken into being out of nothing.  Where we come from matters!  The creation, which was very good, was broken and corrupted, but God is making all things new.  If you want to be a part of that, learn all you can about God’s love and receive!

God’s ways of love.  God’s thoughts shaped by love.

God’s love is higher than ours.  Seek the Lord while he may be found.

              It sees what we can’t see.  For example, from the roof top, I can see over my neighbor’s hedge.  Don’t worry. No spying going on.  They aren’t in the pool, and I’m not up here much.  God’s love sees what we can’t and he sees it differently.  There are limits to my love.  Hurt someone I love, and I may lose any love I have for you.  Not so with God.  His love has seen the darkness in our hearts and the brightness of the future he has in mind for each human heart.  Seek the Lord while he may be found.  Look up!

              God’s ways are so love infused that they are higher than ours.  Most people I know can show sacrificial love to certain people – family or friends.  I’ve known some who were absolutely consumed in selfishness, but no, for the most part, people do love now and then.  But God, oh my, but God’s love is creative, bringing the world into place, sacrificial, meeting needs that are not his own, never asking for repayment, taking action that we wouldn’t take, and never getting tired, worn out, bored, or distracted with the objects of his love.  His love is new every morning!  Can we say that?  His love is steadfast, enduring forever.   Seek the Lord while he may be found.  Look up!

              God’s love thinks in ways we can’t, in ways that are higher than ours!  The Bible tells we should think on what is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.  This is especially true for when we think of others.  Is that hard?  When you think of that co-worker who slacks off when they are needed, the neighbor who plays their music too loud, or that business associate who cheats, or that family who’s politics are just wrong – thinking noble, pure, excellent, and praiseworthy ways just doesn’t work very well.  I have found though, that people can do this for another person one time – when they are head-over-heals in romantic love!  They have pure, excellent, and praiseworthy thoughts about their beloved.  (Which can be so annoying, right?)  So there it is, I’m failing at it just thinking about it.  Not God.  Nope.  Not the Father-Son-Holy Spirit who have lived in love and expressed love from eternity past.  God loves that way.  Seek the Lord while he may be found!  Look up!

              And God’s love, in all its highness, speaks! And the heights of his love speaks into the depths, as wide as the oceans, and as broad as time!  God’s word proceeding forth from the heights of his love comes down to accomplish the purpose for which he sent it forth.  Can we say the same?   Anyone who has tried to use words to mend the broken-heart of a loved one probably knows the futility of words.  Words may be powerful, but so often my own words seem so absolutely ineffective so much of the time – Not so the Word of God!  For when God speaks, everything begins to change and begins to be made new.

God’s grace, you see, proceeds from the Word of the Lord.  As John wrote, in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God!  God’s grace, you see, is embodied in Jesus.  And from the heights of God’s love he descends to us.  From the heights of God’s love, his light shines into our darkness – and the darkness can’t overcome it because the darkness can’t reach it. 

And let me just add, that the dark place you may find yourself in may seem vast, endless, and hopeless, but the light of Christ is greater, longer, and deeper, because it is higher than anything we can imagine.

Because the love of God which reaches to the heavens did not consider the heavens as the place to stay.  The Living Word of God, Jesus, from the heights of love came down to us! To you.  To me!  The grace of God for you and me has as it’s source the unreachable heights of God’s love! 

Now – what does this have to do with the future of the church. 

When we lift our eyes to the heights in worship, we’re reminded of a love like that.  And we can show grace like that.

When that light shines in our darkest places, we’re reminded of a love that higher than our pain.  And we can find hope.

Isaiah says, that because of this high nature of God, because of the highness of love, we can go forth in joy.  Not necessarily for what we are experiencing which may be awful, but because of the promise of the future. And we will know peace, shalom.  It’ll be new again.

That’s a hope and a future!

About Pastor Jesse

I am someone loved by Jesus - a disciple, husband, father, pastor, and engineer. God has a mission and invites us into it. I want to do my part to encourage and equip people for life on that mission!
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