Clergy Corner by Deacon Ivan Hawk

"For God so loVed the world,
        the He gAve
           His onLy
hat whoever
       Believes In Him
         Should Not perish.
      But have Everlasting Life" (John 3:16).

As we begin this Lent on Valentine’s Day, it is so appropriate to focus on the great gift of love that our Lord has given us. We just celebrated the joy of Christmas when Jesus came into our lives. We now focus on why He came, to teach us how to live and how to love. Jesus gave us the greatest gift of love that anyone could give—His life!

God loves us and wants a personal relationship with us. Jesus came just to do that, to redeem us in His death and resurrection in the greatest act of love that God could show us. Love is the foundation of Christianity.

God's love for us is so intense, that God took on our humanity, taking on all the joy and sadness that accompanies the human condition, to redeem us and to show us how we might live this covenant of love.

On the Cross, Jesus is holding out His arms which is telling us that He loves us that much. Like a child's outstretched arms. CROSS: vertical to God & Horizontal to each other.

God's love for us is unconditional. There is nothing we can do to earn it. God's love was poured out in us before we were able to respond to any stimuli, and God's love will be there to sustain us no matter how we might try to deny its presence.

Love is so important to God that He gave us love as a gift of virtue, as well as a fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 13:13. And now faith, hope and LOVE abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Love is the most powerful word in the world, and at the same time, the most powerless. Love is the most powerful because love alone can conquer the human heart. Love is also the most powerless word in the world, because it takes consent to make it happen. We may love another person for a long time and then decide to break that relationship. It is the same with our relationship with God. God’s love is eternal and irrevocable. Each of us has the option to consent to that love. But even as powerful as God’s love is, we can stop it from entering us by our simple refusal.

Please take the time during our Journey through Lent and let the love of the Author of Life fill you to overflowing.

Tags: Clergy Corner, Deacon Ivan

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