You need to know God is love
God is love.
- from 1 John 4:8
This is, perhaps, the most important thing you need to know about God. This is, also, one of the most misunderstood things about God.
God is love. We believe that God is love because we’ve seen God display his love for us. We believe that God is love because we believe that Jesus is God and we’ve seen the love that prompted Jesus to lay down his life for us.
This week is a Chatham Serves week (www.chathamserves.org). This Sunday we’ll replace our regular worship services with a community-wide day of serving our community together. And this is directly connected to our belief that God is love.
If God were just a king, we might serve our community because he commanded us to serve. We’d do the minimum and maybe a little extra. Walls would be painted and yards raked. Meals would be cooked and welcome baskets prepared. A king could command community service, but Chatham Serves goes beyond community service.
If God were just our creator, we might serve our community out of a desire to care for his creation. We’d get our hands dirty. Dog playgrounds would be built and flowers planted. Lawns would be mowed and mulch spread. We’d bask in the glory of God’s creation (and we will do that on Sunday). But there’s more to Chatham Serves than that.
God is love. He’s our heavenly Father, our redeemer, our friend. He cares for us. He wants us to connect with him and with each other. And so whole we’re serving our community, we’ll do that together.
And while we’re serving our community together, we’ll be on the lookout for opportunities to show love to people who aren’t a part of our church at all. We’ll look people in the eyes. We’ll listen. We’ll give handshakes, high-fives, and hugs. We’ll connect.
How do you think love and service are connected to each other? Can you serve someone without loving them? Can you love someone without looking to serve them? What do you think?