Day Five: A Good Kind of Infection

19 We love because he first loved us.  20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.  For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen,  cannot love God, whom they have not seen.  21 And he has given us this command:  Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4.19-21)

“And now, what does it all matter? It matters more than anything else in the world. The whole dance, or drama, or pattern of this three-Personal life is to be played out in each one of us: or (putting it the other way round) each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made. Good things as well as bad, you know, are caught by a kind of infection. If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them… Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die?” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

Prayer: Lord, we desire to be close to you.
Spirit, bring us closer to God,
deeper into your love,
that your love would overflow in our lives,
splashing onto the lives of our friends and neighbors around us.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Close” (Hillsong). Click here



Day Four: What It’s All About

11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.  14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. (1 John 4.11-15)

“God is love.
The love that is God is crucified love.
We are called to friendship with the risen Jesus.
We cannot love God if we do not love each other.
We live our love out
from the community created by the Spirit.
That is it.
That is what Christianity is all about.
Now believe it and live it
as if your life depended on it,
because it does.” (F.C. Bauerschmidt, The Love That Is God: An Invitation to Christian Faith, p. 123).

Prayer: Lord, as we commune with you, as we worship you,
may we become more like you.
We humble ourselves before you.
Empower us to reflect who you are,
to resemble you in our character and how we relate to others.
May we joyfully live our love out
from the community created by the Spirit.
Bless our church.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Singing Over Us” (KXC). Click here



Day Three: I’ll Let You Google It

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…
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. (1 John 4.9-10, 14)

“God is love” is not just an abstract definition of God, but must be considered within the definitive context of the incarnation and cross of Jesus Christ. Concepts of God in other religions say “God is love” either as pure abstraction or as analogous to human love. “God is love” in the Bible is defined by the sending of Jesus to save. God is not some solitary God, he is relational. God is not some impersonal Supreme Being or Force, he is personal. For Christians, “God is love” points to an inter-personal, intra-Trinitarian love. We are invited into God’s perichoretic love. We’re invited into perfect love.

Prayer: Father, this is how you proved your love for us,
you sent your one and only Son, Jesus, into the world,
that we might live through him.
This is truly love.
Not that we loved God,
but that you loved us
and sent your Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Hallelujah! Glory to God in the highest!
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “All Praise” (Matt Redman). Click here



Day Two: God Is More Than Loving

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. (1 John 4.8-9)

“Love, in some sense, originates in the identity of God himself. As John makes clear a few words later, love is not just from God but in himself God is love (8, repeated in v. 16). This is the only time in the Bible that God is so described… It is not as though love stands above all other divine characteristics, but it is to say that all that God is and does is loving. Since love is intrinsically interpersonal, John’s three-word statement is loaded with significance—God is ontologically relational. He is the only being who can possibly be called love. In our very best moments we may love well, but none of us can ever be described as love. God is love implicitly highlights the immense gulf between God and humanity.” (P. Mitchel, The Message of Love, BST, p. 109)

Prayer: Lord, I don’t want to just go through the motions of being a cultural Christian.
I want to be in genuine relationship with you.
There is no one like you.
I bow down and worship you and you alone.
Bring me into your love—your love that is real,
your love that is transforming—
by the power of your Spirit.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Your Love Never Fails” (Maranatha). Click here



Day One: God Is Love

Let’s read aloud together the following passage, confession and prayer:

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love…

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
(1 John 4.8, 16 NIV)

But St. John goes even further when he affirms that “God is love” (1 Jn 4.8, 16): God’s very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret (Cf. 1 Co 2.7-16; Ep 3.9-12): God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 221)

Lord, we stand in awe of you, God who is love.
Instead of wondering why you love us so, we simply open our hearts to receive your love. In truth, you’re the One who receives and welcomes and brings us into your love—the on-going, eternal, overflowing love of Father, Son and Spirit.
Empower us to fathom even a fraction of this love!
By your grace, we know and rely on your love for us.
God who Is love, may we live in love today,
as we live in you, and as you live in us.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Your Grace Amazes Me” (Passion). Click here