Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really enjoying our weekly gatherings to deepen the discussion around our Lenten series “Choose Love.” I always leave with more than I brought, and hope others are finding this too. For instance, just yesterday, we opened the discussion by considering things we had witnessed or experienced that were done in the name of love, but perhaps weren’t actually loving at all. One participant (who consistently offers wise perspective) shared that, frequently, it seems those who are claiming to act in the name of love (or God) might more appropriately describe their actions as controlling, rather than loving.

Ain’t that the truth.

This week, we’ll read a familiar passage couched in its original context, which may be less familiar to most of us. But, in this broader narrative, it reveals to us that God’s love is actually anything but controlling. God’s love is a free gift, given to all without condition or price. And… and… we must choose it for ourselves. We must choose to accept this love, for love, by its definition, cannot be forced or coerced. The love God desires for us, and from us, is our gift to give of our own free will.

God so loved the world that God showed up for us in our likeness to communicate to us the extent of this divine gift. This is grace already given, and it is now up to us to choose how we will respond.

If you’d like to join us for conversation about how we might more fully choose God’s love in this season, and all the seasons to come, you’re more than welcome. Only an open mind and heart are required. Links for the Sunday and Wednesday Zoom gatherings will be in the weekly email or can be sent from the office upon request.

I look forward to growing in love together.

Pastor Darin