Aloha Friday Message – January 29, 2016 – Time and Love

1605AFC012916 – Time and Love

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1 Corinthians 13:12-1312 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Much love to you belovéd! Today we continue, for a while, with the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. In the past month, we have looked at Life Lessons, Jesus the Shepherd, and the Gifts and Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Today we have an excerpt from The Love Chapter – 1 Corinthians 13 (You know, you really should click on that link so you can read this tremendously beautiful passage from Scripture.). This beautiful chapter is well known to nearly every Christian. “The greatest of these is Love.” How often we say that! How often we also neglect to do that. In this world ruled by the Culture of Death, love is often mistaken for lust. People young and old seek fulfillment in sensuality and sexuality that ranges from mildly erotic to wildly perverse. That is not love; it is not even self-love. It is a type of selfishness that destroys community, destroys bodies, and even destroys souls. Another misperception about love – particularly self-love – is that it is a justification for murder. Isn’t it amazing how many of the TV “News Magazines” like 20/20, 48 Hours, and Nightline feature stories about men and women who decide that the way to “improve” an adulterous relationship is to murder their spouse? How could they think that? Don’t “All Lives Matter?” Indeed, because all lives matter, how can anyone justify the murder of innocents whether by terroristic violence like jihad, deranged mass murders by thrill-seekers, or by millions of abortions? Killing an unborn child is misconstrued as an act of love. Surely, that is the work of Satan; it is for love of evil that such things happen. That is not Love. I learned a lot about love growing up in Denver.

When I was in high school, I belonged to an international, interdenominational Christian Youth Organization called Christian Endeavor. It was a wonderful formation ground for my faith, and a fertile garden from the growth of my ministry gifts. Through that group, I had the opportunity to present short workshops or “sermonettes” to young people. CE was an opportunity for young people to learn from, mentor, encourage, and edify each other. There were always adult sponsors, but each chapter in each church had their own officers, and they led the meetings, helped plan activities for youth, and it was just wonderful when thousands of young Christians got together to fellowship with kids from other churches and other denominations and joyfully praise and worship God. We used to have something called a Hymn-Sing several times a year, and hundreds of kids from all over Colorado would get together and sing hymns for a couple of hours. That was Love – real agape Love – in action. For me, the most memorable of experiences in CE were the Testimonies. Kids my age stood up in front of their peers and declared their love for and faith in Jesus. It was in one of those meetings that I recall saying, “Life is our most precious gift from God because He gives it to us expressly for the purpose of losing it; and how we do that is what makes all lives better.”

Love is about making things better – better lives, better futures, better homes, yes, even better gardens. When Love is the motivator, life is precious. When profit is the motivator, life is cheap. When Love rules, greed cools. When we Love God and neighbor, we “fulfill the law and the prophets.” I hope you used that link up there to read The Love Chapter (← Second Chance). You should especially read verses 4-8 OUT LOUD, because you will hear God telling you “This is the way. Walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) If what you are doing, what you are living, what you are hoping in does not turn out like what you heard in those verses (did you read them yet?), then you need to listen to this song. (← Music link) Only this time, think of YOU singing that to Jesus. Turn your monitor off. Let the sound play. Look into Jesus’ face, and sing along. That’s Love, brothers and sisters. You can feel it when Someone acts in Love with you and for you. Love gives life; it does not steal it or corrupt it. Love makes life valuable; it does not cheapen or degrade it. Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Love never dies, even when someone tries to kill it.

Jesus had many moments in his life when people wanted to kill him because of the Love he had for God and for them. The first time that happened was when he was just a baby and Herod killed many baby boys hoping to kill the King of the Jews. Later, after Jesus began his ministry in Cana of Galilee, he visited his home town, Nazareth. He read from the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah, and told them that Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in their hearing. At first they were impressed, but they wanted to see him do something – make a miracle as he had done elsewhere. They wanted to test him. Love doesn’t work like that. He reminded them that millions before them had waited to hear that prophecy fulfilled. Their self-love turned treacherous, and they turned against him:

JesusRejectedNazarethLuke 4:28-30 28 When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. 30 But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.

As he had said to his Mother in Cana, “My hour is not yet come.” Many times throughout his short ministry he charged people not to tell anyone about the miraculous healing – and the forgiveness of sins – because it was not yet time to fulfill his mission – his willing sacrifice of Love on the Cross. Throwing people off a cliff to their death was a particularly terrifying and shameful way to die. It was a form of Roman execution for the lowest of the low, and his fellow Jews were ready to give him the heave-ho. Here’s a photo of the place we believe Jesus was threatened with death at this early point in his ministry.

Jesus-Cliff

Jesus waited until the time came for his ultimate expression of his love – God’s LOVE – and when the time came, he lovingly laid down his life for all of us. 1 John 3:16 says, 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Do you want to know what love is? Take a solo trip in the garden. (← Music link) Walk with him. Talk with him. Believe it when he tells you that you are his own because he has called you by name.

Love takes time, but it also makes time. Love is the essence of God, the fundamental nature of Mercy, and the instrument of Salvation.

Faith wrought in Love is the cause of our Hope. Hope fashioned through Love is the power of Life over death. Love bestowed without cost or condition is the Gift Everlasting. It is the Christ of God, and it is time to open that gift and share it. Blesséd be God forever in his Angels and in his Saints who know, and are known by, him!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved!

Please help us pray for one of our St. Catherine School students, seven-year-old HARPER DARRELL (SEE THIS LINK or copy and paste this link in our browser http://www.helpingharper.com). Look for menu-link at the bottom of the page.

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Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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