First, Love-Week 4 // The Meaning of Life is Love // Pastor Kate Murphy

Scripture:  2 John 1-13

Dear Church,

My favorite saint is a woman called Julian who lived a long time ago in a place called Norwich. She had visions, the most famous of which is the one of some thing ‘that appeared to be hazelnut.’ At that time, she knew the Lord was showing her that the tiny object was everything that ever was and ever would be, and it was held by God and so ‘it is well, it is well, and all manner of things will be well.’

It was years later in her life, a life marked by deprivation and wars and plagues and loss, that she asked God For the meaning of the vision. And this is what the Lord told her:

Wouldst thou learn thy Lord’s meaning in this thing? Learn it well: Love was His meaning. Who shewed it thee? Love. What shewed He thee? Love. Wherefore shewed it He? For Love. Hold thee therein and thou shalt learn and know more in the same. But thou shalt never know nor learn therein other thing without end. Thus was I learned that Love was our Lord’s meaning.

The meaning of life is love.

It always has been and always will be, but since the fall, we humans have never been satisfied with that.

But life came as a gift from God, who is love. Our creator who made us from love for love. And anytime our theology becomes anything other or easier than love, we’ve made ourselves an idol.

I hope you’ll join me as we read the last of St. John’s ancient love letters and remember again that the way is love and love is our way.

Peace,

Pastor Kate

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First, Love-Week 3 // 1 John 3:16 // Wes Vander Lugt

Scripture:  1 John 4:7-21

Dear Church,

I love the book of 1 John because the message is profoundly simple: God is love, and if you are God’s children, you will be people of love.

This is what Christianity is all about! In his marvelous little book The Love That Is God, Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt summarizes the basics of Christianity this way:

God is love.

The love that is God is crucified love.

We are called to friendship with the risen Jesus.

We cannot love God if we do not love each other.

We live our love out from the community created by the Spirit.

That fourth line is often the hardest.

We get tripped up by our busyness, by our tendency to narrow the scope of people we are called to love, by our fear, and by misunderstanding what it means to love.

But the message of 1 John is liberating: God has given us everything we need be people of love. The Spirit is with us, dissolving our fears and empowering us for a life of sacrificial love.

I hope you will participate in worship this Sunday at 10am in the sanctuary or on the livestream as we continue our series First, Love and remember who we are as people of love.

Grace and peace,

Wes Vander Lugt

Want to chat about what you have heard? Click here:
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First, Love-Week 2 // Love and Hatred // Pastor Kate Murphy

Scripture:  1 John 3:11-24 (NIV)


In the beginning, we understood that our only goal on the way of Jesus is to love.  Not to fix or change or judge or punish or even to save, not to be the holiest, or the most important or the most powerful or the best. God is all of those things, and the way of Jesus won’t make you God, which is what we’ve all desired from the beginning. The way of Jesus will heal us and show us how good and wonder-filled and enough it is to be people fully loved by our Creator. The way of Jesus will make us content and grateful to be human. It is the grace of God that delivers us from evil and into love, which is the opposite of death.

Love will set us free in the wild center of God’s liberating redemption of all creation. Love will lead us on the path back to shalom. Love, and only love, will take us everywhere we need to go. Love will make all things new.

Including our life in Christ.

I hope you will join me as we share the feast of communion and I hope you’ll come and taste and see that God is good and God is for you and God is with you and God is within you. 


Peace,
Pastor Kate

Want to chat about what you have heard? Click here:
https://www.thegrovecharlotte.org/connect-with-us