My Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church Family,
How I so wanted to be with you in the sanctuary on this past Sunday, the first Sunday of June, our target date for reopening; but, God had a different plan. So, as we are supposed to do, after consulting with different people, I obeyed and followed the direction that I believe God was leading by the presence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It was not what I initially wanted to do; but, I love you too much to put you at undo risk simply because I also love you so much that I want to see all of you again.
Sometimes, love can take many different forms. Sometimes, love makes us do things that we would not ordinarily do. Sometimes, love makes us do things that we should do but do not want to do. Sometimes, love requires us to reach out to those who we would naturally want to stay away from. And, sometimes, love makes us stay away from those who we would naturally want to connect with.
This Sunday, I tried to express my love for you by having you stay away while we continue to make sure our coming together will be blessed and safe.
Beloved, this world, right now, needs a heavy dose of love. But, in typing out those words, I am being redundant, repetitive and rhetorical. What I mean is that there has never ever been a time when the world has not needed a heavy dose of love, especially when we understand that scripture tells us that God is love.
So, beloved, this world, right now, needs a heavy dose of God.
And, where does that heavy dose of God come from? It comes from you and me, the God in you and me, the love in you and me.
1 Peter 4:8 tells us, "Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins."
Beloved, we can name many isms where sin manifests itself - racism, sexism, classism, egocentrism, narcissism, nationalism, secularism, ageism, etc.
All of these revolve around two other isms, absenteeism and antagonism. And, what is absent? Love. And the absence of love creates a void where antagonistic ways of thinking and acting manifest to fill the void, pitting individuals or groups against other individuals or groups.
Run to excess, what you are left with is pessimism, the absence of hope, which leads to more recidivism, relapsing back into the criminal behavior over and over again that feeds the sinful isms.
Criminal behavior associated with sinful isms is only conquered by love, "for love covers a multitude of sins.", and therefore, sinful isms as well as all sins are only conquered by God.
Beloved, I encourage you to love!!! Hate is easy and convenient while also being harmful and destructive. Love can be hard and difficult while also being needful and necessary for we, as the Body of Christ, are the human embodiment of love just as Jesus was God incarnate. For, God, the Holy Spirit, dwells inside of us and yearns to be released to show this world that what it really needs above all, above retribution, above reparations, above restitution is love.
Jesus came to do what the law could not do and we keep retreating to laws to do what Jesus proved could not be done. You cannot change minds, hearts and spirits through legalism. It has to be done through love.
So, beloved, LOVE!!!
We will be loving on, with, and for each other today at Noonday Prayer. Show your love and connect.
We will also be having our first Summer Mini Lesson this evening via Zoom at 6:30pm with the topic being "The Blessing Of Dealing With Difficult People". Show your love and connect.
In all that you do, seek to show your love, God's love. For above all else, this world needs more of God's love.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!