“God is love . . . those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” (1John 4:16b-21)
The warmer temperatures and many shades of green of summer are here! With the year through which I have passed, I share the sentiment of F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby: “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” Life comes into full bloom again each summer. And most central to life is love.
In 1John, chapters three and four, we read much about the centrality and universality of love. “See what love God has given us that we should be called children of God . . . God is love. . . God’s love was revealed by God sending God’s son into the world . . . since God loved us so much we also ought to love one another . . . there is no fear in love . . . those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” We are all children of God, created in the image of God, created in the image of love. Humanity comes into full bloom when we grow in our practice of loving one another. Humanity comes into full bloom when we grow in our practice of loving one another across our differences of experience, origin, culture, race, sexual identity, language, citizenship status and the many other barriers that seems to distance or divide us.
Grace Church has been given the very special opportunity to help host our West Ohio Conference supported Congolese missionaries, Jeanne and Gaston Ntambo, when they visit our Conference later this month. Jeanne and Gaston Ntambo will help lead, and will preach for, our June 25 worship service at Grace Church. This will be a combined multicultural worship celebration with our Congolese New American sisters and brothers here at Grace. Jeanne and Gaston are each native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Gaston is a pilot for the Wings of the Morning aviation ministry there and Jeanne is a radio operator for Wings of the Morning. During the month of June our worship experiences will lead us to this special culminating multicultural worship experience.
As summer begins anew, may we begin to bloom more full. May we bloom more fully in love for one another.
Grace and peace,