Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This Is Love

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I will be spending the next few days preparing to perform the wedding ceremony for my Sister-in-law, Laura, and her fiancé, Matthew.

I will, no doubt, draw from my previous writings on the subject of marriage: Three Easy Steps to a Happy Marriage (Part 1 | Part 2). However, the bride and groom have asked me to focus my sermon on a passage in 1 John 4.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
I won't go into a bunch of detail yet and spoil the surprise. Here are the big message points I want to convey in my homily:
  1. Love = Serve. If I say I love you, but I don't serve you, then I don't really love you. I only like the way you make me feel. The Greek word for love in this passage is Agape. Agape is self-sacrificing love. It is the love with which God loves us. It is the love that caused him to send his Son as an atoning sacrifice for us.
  2. Our Agape Love Points to a Greater Love. When we give of ourselves in love, we point to a greater love--the love of God. Earthly marriage is a shadow of a greater marriage between God and man.
What if you were preaching this sermon? What would you tell the young couple? Don't hold back.

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