Friday, January 28, 2011

"This is true love - you think this happens every day?"

We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us - and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.  - 1 John 3:16
One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride.  Beautiful Princess Buttercup is kidnapped and held against her will to marry the evil Prince Humperdink, all the while, waiting for her handsome prince (her childhood love), Westly, to rescue her. During one particularly tense scene, Westly must take leave from Princess Buttercup, assuring her that he will return to save her and the following conversation takes place:
Westley: Hear this now: I will always come for you. 
Buttercup: But how can you be sure? 
Westley: This is true love - you think this happens every day?
True love - we hear about it, read about it, see it in the movies; but do we really KNOW it? It seems like the hardest thing to get right in life is love.  We can often trace much of the hurt and anguish in our lives back to failure to give or to receive the love we all need. In order for our lives to be fulfilled we must receive love and we must give love.
We are blessed with a God who gives us His perfect love, freely and unconditionally, every day.  It is in knowing the love of God that we can begin to know and share the love of one another. It is the love of God that brought us Jesus; the son of God, to show us what love looks like; selfless service and giving of oneself for another.  And it is the love of God that came back for us when Jesus was raised from the dead and promises to come for us again.  God always comes for us; TO us and THROUGH us to the world.  
God’s love is TRUE love. Westley asked the question “you think this happens every day”? The answer is yes.  God’s love does happen every day in all sorts of wonderful ways; God’s love comes for us, to us and through us to bless the whole world through the power of scriptures, prayer, worship, fellowship and service. We need only look to the life of Jesus to know that the love we share together is a love founded on grace, forgiveness and acceptance.
Let us pray:
Gracious, loving God - thank you for showering us with your gift of unconditional, extravagant love.  Help us to be bearers of that love to a world that is hungry to know and to be reassured that you will always come for us. Amen.