An Inclusive Love

Life Notes—December 16, 2010

“All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.  What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”  John 1:3-5 

The first eighteen verses of the first chapter of John, sometimes referred to as The Prologue, make up my favorite passage in the entire Bible.  It tells the creation story; it tells about the birth and life of Jesus; it tells of God’s longing to be in relationship with us, all in four not-so-easy to understand paragraphs.  It is written in a mystical, cryptic style that is unlike the remainder of this mostly straight-forward Gospel.  I can read and reread it and come away with new insights or understandings. 

In the passage above, John writes, “All things came into being through him…”  If there was a Gospel of Greg, it would read something like this: “All people came to earth via God.”  God is the source of our being.  Our souls leave a fellowship with God to come to earth for a time, and when that time is up our souls return to God.  In the meantime, we only know God as this mysterious, hidden, confounding being that, for all our efforts, we cannot bring to a comfortable familiarity.  The reality of the Spirit cannot be seen, heard or touched by our earthly senses.  By faithful observation and pensive reflection—and sometimes by dumb luck—we recognize there is more to life than our senses detect.  A whole lot more.  And we often find ourselves longing for more, though we cannot always put our finger on what we lack. 

The theme of the fourth Sunday of Advent is Love.  We all need love, be it romantic love, the love of friends and family, the acceptance of those important to us. The love we crave on earth may be a manifestation of our subconscious desire to be reunited with the God who, although ever-present, resides just beyond our conscious grasp.  If lust seeks to satisfy earthly desires, Love seeks more—something inclusive of our earthly state, but with deeper roots.  Real Love is animated—brought to Life—by Spirit.  The Christmas story tells how Jesus was conceived by the uniting of the Spirit of the Most High and the body of Mary.  Heaven and earth came together to form something more than either alone could produce.  Jesus walked the earth, fully Spirit and fully human. Could that be the Love we seek, Love that manifests both heaven and earth?  When the Spirit animates us, our lives become a Light to others.  And the darkness, evil, ignorance, violence and illness of this earth cannot overcome the Light of that kind of Love. 

This Sunday Tom will be preaching downtown. Life worship is at 9:40 in Brady Hall; traditional worship in the sanctuary is at 8:30 and 11:00.  Mitch will preach at the west campus, where worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.  The sermon title at both campuses is “Shining the Light,” based on John 1:1-9. 

Come home to worship this Sunday.  All you need is Love…Love is all you need!

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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