WELCOME TO THE
SHEFFORD METHODIST CHURCH
To know and love God more fully and to encourage others to do the same
9.30 a.m. unless otherwise advertised
When I was growing up, which says something about my age, Take That sang about ‘A million love songs’ and all written just trying to find the right words to tell the lucky recipient ‘that I care’.
Sometimes listening to the radio, it feels as if there are at least a million love songs out there. They talk about feeling in our fingers and in our toes that ‘love is all around’, about asking that special someone to ‘love me tender, love me sweet’ and suggest that in this life, ‘all you need is love’.
The trouble is that all these love songs are talking about a very specific kind of love that links to romance and being in love. It’s something we particularly think of in February because of Valentine’s Day.
Yet love, particularly the kind of love that the Bible often talks of, is about far more than ‘moonlight and music and love and romance’.
In fact, although there are four words in Greek for love, the word for romantic love, eros, doesn’t even appear in the Bible. Instead, the Bible frequently refers to agape love such as in John 15:9-10:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
This agape love is not a love that is about attraction or shared kinship or affection. It is, instead, an unconditional, selfless kind of love that moves past boundaries and discrimination. It is the kind of love that we are told God both offers and calls for us to ‘remain’ in. It is not the love of a million love songs, but instead the ‘Love divine, all loves excelling’ that hymn writer Charles Wesley spoke of.
May this agape love then be the one that ‘is all around us’, that reaches out to show others not only that we care, but that God cares. I’d like to hear a million of those love songs, wouldn’t you?
Every blessing, Lorna,