Friday, February 14, 2014

EMBODYING GOD'S LOVE

The earliest generations of Christians were known as a community that practiced sacrificial love. In a letter to the emperor Hadrian, a Christian named Aristides described the community this way:

"They love one another, and from widows they do not turn away their esteem; and they deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly. And he who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. And when they see a stranger, they take him in to their homes and rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but brethren after the Spirit and in God." (Translated by D. M. Kay, www.earlychristianwritings.com)

At its best, the church continues to do these things today. Thousands of churches feed the poor, welcome strangers, and help those suffering from natural disasters.

Yet the church is composed of human beings who are sinners. We are all too familiar with the many ways we fall short of truly embodying God's love. Nevertheless, loving and acting on that love remain the church's purpose and calling from God.

-- Scott J. Jones in The Wesleyan Way: A Faith That Matters


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