Welcome to Emmanuel United Church of Christ

Hi – hope you’re enjoying the spring weather. I don’t think we’ve ever had such a warm February. And they’re predicting March to be just as warm. At least that should make Easter on March 27 a nice temperature. Perhaps we won’t have to cover up our Easter finery with a heavy coat. Just thinking about Easter makes me warm. It’s such a great feeling to know that God loves me so much that he found a way to get rid of the sins that separate me from him. But what a price. To lose your only child so that you can gain another child who is not perfect (like your son was) is inconceivable. But then, as a parent, I can almost understand. Children often fall short of their parents’ expectations. I’m sure that I didn’t always do what my parents thought was the correct thing and would cause them grief. But my parents always loved me and accepted me, failures and all. How much like children we are still. How often do we grieve our heavenly Father? And yet He will accept us just as we are. His one condition is that we love him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That love can change our attitudes and actions tremendously. Think of it this way. If you love someone completely, can you intentionally do anything to hurt that person? Of course not. And so, by loving God unconditionally, we obey him completely. We are less prone to do things to disappoint him or to hurt others. (Remember, we are all God’s children.) If we love Him, it makes it much more difficult for us to intentionally sin. We absolutely know that He loves us because He sent His Son to remove all sin from us. Through Jesus’ death, our sin can die. All we need is to love just as God loves us – unconditionally and no strings attached. Doing this puts all the rest of our faith into motion – confessing Jesus crucified and risen, treating others right, living a life centered on God, serving God through all that we do, loving others as God loves us and so much more to make our lives whole and filled with God’s love. During the remaining season of Lent, I’d like to challenge you to love as God loves. It’s not easy and you might get hurt. There’s no guarantee that others will respond to your love. But don’t worry. There’s someone else who understands rejection too – God. He will support you because He knows what it’s like to not be loved back. We do it far too often to Him. But He always gives us the opportunity for a second chance at love. And third, fourth, fifth….. You get it. Here’s to love that lasts – forever!


Emmanuel UCC

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