Friday, April 24, 2009

What Matters Most- 3- Love Matters

You understand that as I'm writing about what matters most that I am writing from the point of view of a Christian pastor, a United Methodist pastor. However, as I'm putting these thoughts together, I am trying to do so also as one who is human living in a human world.

When I say "faith" matters, I am doing so in a world that seems to intent on creating more and more religions and spiritualities. When I say that human beings matter, I am doing so in a world where hungry people have less to eat than our pets.

Now, I want to say that "love" is one of those things that matter most. Now, I know that when I say "love" in the present world that for some it means a kind of fuzzy feeling. If I watch a movie and cry, then it means that I am a sensitive, loving person. When all my children (girls) are home, their mother and they enjoy watching what I call "chick" flicks. You know, a man and woman fall madly in love but face terrible obstacles and separations until finally the movie ends and the strings play loudly. And, they are united in love.

Wait a minute now, I do have some interest in romance. But, this is not the meaning of love entirely. Maybe it's part of it. No, love is about being together, committed to each other- which is a basic human need. I hesitate to use the word "need". Maybe love is a basic human characteristic.

Anyway, we all need to love and be loved. This is at the heart of the Christian faith. We worship a God who creates a world with human beings. Created in a garden with everything we need, with a relationship with God and with each other. We turn away; our love fails. We start acting as if we own the place, as if we're god. We kill a brother, and sin enters the picture.

In the fullness of time, out of love, this intent to be at one with creation and with us, God sent a Son, Jesus, into the world, to bring us back to God. This is the ultimate love.

All love comes from God. We need to love and be loved- family, church, world. Just as in marriage, love requires that we keep up our side of the bargain. If I am to love you, you must in turn make yourself available to be loved. You must not isolate yourself from others and expect that others will not let you be isolated. You must take some responsibility here. You must be present in the relationship: marriage, friendship, faith, community.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love. Everybody knows that.

Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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