God’s love creates life. We asked several Mount Calvary leaders to tell us their stories of how God’s love created new life in them.
One council member talked about her judgmental church upbringing. She was taught to be afraid of God, to dread God’s anger, and to be good enough to escape God’s punishment in hell. This fear of God sucked life from her soul, until she heard a different message at a new church. In this church she heard God loves her and everyone. God desires her and everyone. God’s embraces her and everyone. And the sweet embrace of God’s love banished the bitter old fears, breathing new life into her.
One youth shared how he was alone and afraid amongst his peers, not really sure how to act, not really sure who he was or where he belonged. Until he received an invitation at church. “Come sit with us at worship,” some older kids said.
“Come with us out for lunch,” they invited him. “What are you
doing tomorrow? Come and hang out with us. You’re a part of our group.”
And these invitations were God’s love for him. The welcome of God’s love in the love of his peers drew him out of his loneliness and into new life.
One mom suffered the death of her dad. She carried a life-draining
grief. “God, where are you?” she lamented. Until she saw Jesus again at Good Friday, hanging on the cross and dying there. In Christ’s suffering face, his bloodied brow and pierced hands, she experienced Christ’s embracing her own human suffering and sadness. Jesus’ sacrificial love transformed her grief and resurrected her to new life.
God’s love is the stuff of life. We can have all things, all knowledge, all skill, all discipline, all wealth, all power, but without love we are nothing. When people reach their last days of life and look back what do they talk about? Love, merciful, welcoming, peaceful, long-suffering love. Love is what remains. Love is what endures.
What is the heart of Mount Calvary? God’s love. God’s love is a pillar of our community identity. Why? Because God’s love transforms us and gives us new life. As individuals and as a congregation, without God’s love, we cannot live. The love of God, given and received, is our lifeblood, flowing through us into the world.