We are called to demonstrate the love that Jesus embodied. While it is easy to love our neighbors, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us to also love our enemies and those who hurt us. This is only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Grace, mercy, strength, and love to you on this Valentine’s Day.
We give thanks for the way God, through the Holy Scriptures teaches us to love one another. The love that Jesus demonstrated is the love that we are called to embody. That love is described in the Gospel text for this coming Sunday, from Matthew 6, the heart of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says to those who are listening, “You have heard that it was said love your neighbor and hate your enemy, but I say love your enemy. Bless even those who curse you and do things that are hurtful to you.” How strange this definition of love sounds to the human heart and yet, through the Holy Spirit, our lives can be transformed to bear love in every situation.
Methodists were described by John Wesley as those who love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, and those who love others as they love themselves. This passage from the Sermon on the Mount closes with this compelling question of Jesus to those who were listening and we hear it today. “If you love only those who love you what reward is there? Anybody can do that.” Jesus is calling us to strength and depth in the Christian life and to respond with love no matter what prompt comes our way. In this way, showing love to others, we live into the perfection and love which God promises.
May this Valentine’s Day be a day of strong, secure, overflowing confident love in your life and in our world.