Grace and peace be with you brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus!

I started out this month to write my article on the address; In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ; but with much deliberation decided not to, as I thought I may not be qualified to reflect on the topic at this time especially with limited space and time. It could be a bit arduous and need much debate to do it justice ; so instead I decided to tell a story I once shared with our Church Council members, thinking that it might be worth repeating.

I told the story of a man who thought he knew the answers to many of life’s deepest questions. The story is about a close friend and his granddaughter and a truly eye opening experience. The story starts off with three friends talking one day. The got together at work talking about many different things; sports, family, coworkers, and work. There was a pause and one employee thought of a topic they seldom, if ever, talked about. The older of the three asked the question, “What or who is God ? This caught the other two friends a little off-guard; they rarely talked about such a topic. The second oldest stayed a bit quiet for a moment and then the youngest spoke as if he had a sudden revelation. He proudly stated, “God is love!” “Yep ,that’s it,” he said in a matter of fact tone. “God is a four letter word. LOVE ! ! !” They talked a little more about it and then moved on to other subjects and let it go at that. A couple weeks passed and the man again was asked, “Who is God,” by his eleven year old grand-daughter. That very same question again. Again he said, “God is love!” trying to impress her with his wisdom on the subject. “Love is the key to everything!” He went on to say, “Love is the answer to everything! Everyone would be happier if we all loved each other as God loves us. There would be world peace and no more wars and fighting. We experience many things in our lives that may show how God works in our lives like looking at nature, his creation and the beauty all around us everyday. The flowers , the trees, the animals, people we see, and even the tiny snowflakes, each one different than another, no two alike but so beautiful in their design. How wonderful it is to see the birth of a new creature especially the birth of a new child, so powerful and surreal. We see God at work in our prayers too, even when we don’t get the answers we wanted. Sometimes it takes more time and more prayers but he does answer always!”

His grand-daughter told him of her prayer for a puppy. But her family got a new kitten instead. An Egyptian cat; strange and weird looking, and having no real fur. But it was still really awesome in its’ own way. He told her how God sometimes works in mysterious ways.

Later in church, he heard a well-known verse; one that most of us have heard many times at weddings. It comes from I Corinthians 13. Due to space constraints, I wish to elaborate mainly on the LOVE part.
If I do not have love I have nothing, I own nothing, I am nothing, I gain nothing…. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.. It does not insist on it’s own way. It is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrong doing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things; believes all things; endures all things. Love never ends.
It goes on to say, Faith, Hope, and Love abide these three and the greatest of these is Love. This is the word of the Lord ! Thanks be to God ! The man heard it as if for the first time. Really heard the message, loud and clear. He finally listened and really heard what the message was all about. Love! Love is the answer. The answer to everything. If you inserted the name “God” into all the phrases instead of “Love”; it would carry the same, perhaps greater meaning; a deeper; more powerful meaning.

God is patient; God is kind; etc. God does not rejoice in wrong doing but he rejoices in the truth. He bears all things; believes all things; hopes all things. He endures all things; even the death of his own son ! God never ends ! He was; He is; He will always be !

Reading this again.and really hearing this again, as if for the first time; the man realized maybe he needed to reexamine his quick answer to his friend and his grand-daughter. Maybe he needed to take it a step further and that is why he believes GOD IS LOVE and that Love is God. This is who and what God is and is all about. A four letter word. LOVE ! ! ! May we love one another as He loves us!

Grace and peace be with you.

~ Ron Johnson

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