First Lutheran Church
Peace Lutheran Church
We love because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
That is the theme verse for our Vacation Bible School this year, which will be June 1-5 at Peace Lutheran, with the theme being Camp Discovery: Jesus at Work Through Us.
There is no greater love than the love that God has for each of us. After all consider what God has done for you: He created you, not just forming you in the womb, but He created our first parents: Adam and Eve. God loved you so much that He created you, and He created this world for you to live in.
Which is a further expression of God’s love for you: He provides for you. All that you need to support this body and life are gifts, given to you from your Father who is in heaven. He has provided you with food and drink, house and home, your body and all of your senses, your reason, and all that you have. Even your talents and abilities are gifts given to you by God.
So far, God sounds like a parent. Parents love their children so much, that they conceive and bear them; parents love their children so they provide all that they need to support this body and life. Our parents love even extends beyond the normal day to day things to include a desire for what is best for their children in the future.
But God’s love for you goes much deeper than that of a parent. God loves you so much, that He sent His one and only Son into the world to die for you. Christ Jesus left His place at the right hand of the Father, and took on our form, lived a perfect life for 33 years, before being betrayed, put on trial, made to suffer, was crucified and buried.
That is God the Father’s greatest expression of love for you: He loved you so much that He sent His own Son to suffer and die for you so that you might not die eternally, but that you might live forever with Him; for the Son did not just die, but He also rose from the grave, rescuing you and all who believe.
What now is your response to this great love that God has shown to you?
First and foremost, you are called to believe. Believe with the heart and confess with the lips that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Second, we are now to show love to others, just as our Father in heaven has first shown love to us. It is impossible for us to repay God for all that He has done for us: for creating us, for providing for us, and for sending His Son to suffer, die and rise for us. These are all gifts given to us by our Father in heaven, of which there is no repayment necessary.
And so we do the next best thing: we show love to others. We do this through prayer for those in need, for those who are hurting, for those who are destitute. We do this by visiting the sick and the lonely and those in prison. We do this by our gifts to help those who are poor and those who are less fortunate than we. We do this with our time and our talents, sharing the abilities God has given us with those around us. We even do this by telling others the Good News about Jesus.
We love others because God, in Christ Jesus, has first shown love to us. God has shown us so much love, that we cannot help but show that love to others.
Please pray for our Vacation Bible School this year, that those who teach and those who learn might hear of God’s love for them, and that they might show that love to others.