Pulse – May 2018 – Where Love Abides

“In our home, let love abide and bless all those, who come inside.”

My parents gave Stacy and I a wall hanging with this welcoming message, when we moved into our home. They have this same placard posted in the entryway of their home, a reminder to all who enter that they are welcomed and of their intentions as hosts. To all who enter, we intend it to reflect hospitality, welcome, safety, and peace.

What does it look like for love to abide among us, to make a home with us?

In this season of Eastertide, we are looking at what it means to live in the aftermath of the resurrection. We live in the days, weeks, and months that flow out of event where love prevailed and set the world on a new trajectory. Our challenge, in this season, is to find ways to give that love flesh and bone, to not simply look back and talk about the story, but to actually put love into practice through how we live in the world.

The note at our entryway serves as a reminder, words that encourage a pattern of living. But is not enough to welcome love to live with us in intention alone. Those words, while rooted in a good place in our hearts, are mere words until they take the shape of practical action. If I say “Welcome” in my home and proceed to go about by ignoring my guests or being grumpy at my family, have I let love come home to abide with me? Not really.

Love acts. Love does. Love looks at the problems of the world, the things that divide us, that alienate and diminish our humanity, and takes an active role. In the church, we talk about “bearing witness” to God’s grace and work in the world. This “bearing witness” doesn’t stop with simply naming the issue (that’s a good first step). “Bearing witness” takes the second step, though, moving out into the world in action. To “bear witness” to love is to see the opportunity to care for someone’s need and then actually getting right up close to it and helping with our hands, feet, presence, and compassion.
Here’s a challenge for each of us as we enter the month of May and look forward to summer: Can you find a way to bring love more actively into your home?

I wonder, have there been folks you’ve been wanting to invite over for a meal, but haven’t done so yet? Maybe that would be an active way to share love with them, to let them know they matter and you seek to be in community with them.
Or have you noticed a neighbor who could use an extra hand around their home? What would it be like to walk over sometime and offer that kind of active loving care?

And what does it look like for love to abide among us here at St. James, as we gather and spend time together? Perhaps you are sensing an opportunity to take a more active role around here, volunteering on a Sunday morning or helping out around the grounds throughout the week or stepping in to visit people who are sick or lonely. These are all ways for love to become active in you, for you to take the second step, moving past intention to an attitude of action.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in this. We’re learning and growing together. And be assured, as 1 John 3:16-17 reminds us,

“God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world.”

God’s love lives in us, through Christ, so that we can boldly love others. This is where love abides.

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