On Sunday, February 17, from 5-6:30 pm, we will be holding a chili cook-off. There will be prizes for best chili in multiple categories, fellowship, and all the chili you can eat. A freewill donation will be collected and the money raised given to the hunger-fund offering. Everyone, mark your calendars and join us for a fun and delicious evening. And if you enjoying making chili please bring a pot of your favorite recipe! Please contact Molly Miller with any questions.
The word “love” might bring to mind a familiar phrase: Love is patient, love is kind …
On one popular TV trivia show, the contestants couldn’t name the book of the Bible where these verses are written, but they recognized the words. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres …
Many have heard these verses recited in wedding ceremonies or seen them written on Valentine’s Day cards. And they are found in 1 Corinthians 13, often called the “love chapter” of the Bible.
Love never fails … At a certain point, some might say 1 Corinthians 13 has been quoted too much, which can cause words to lose their meaning. People might think, “Yeah, yeah, ok. ‘Faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.’ I know. I’ve heard it all before.”
Others have heard someone say, “I love you,” but a happy ending didn’t follow. For some, the word “love” has been exhausted. That’s because if we read or speak beautiful words about love again and again, but do not do it with intention or understanding, then the words begin to sound like empty statements.
A better way to say that is, “If I speak in the languages of human beings and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). In fact, 1 Corinthians 13 teaches that people must connect to love, specifically the love of God, in order to live meaningful lives.
Valentine’s Day brings good news because–whether single, married, divorced, separated, or any other sort of status–people can connect to the best kind of love, God’s love. And Valentine’s Day recognizes a holiday of taking time to show affection, to bring a little more meaning into everyday actions. Instead of mentioning romance in 1 Corinthians 13, the great love chapter teaches about the love of God: agape love, everlasting love, unconditional love, unselfish love. God’s love is wide open. God’s love is available to any people who will yield their hearts and lives to God.
On one popular reality TV show, a single man meets several single women. As he gets to know them a little better, he eliminates the women he is not interested in. Sounds cruel, right? It is. But it’s all done in the name of “love”–and entertainment. As the women on the show are publicly rejected, one by one, they feel awful. One woman expressed her hopelessness, saying, “If I could have opened myself up to him, I think, if he saw the real me, he would definitely reconsider.” Another thought if she were more beautiful or charming, than he would have chosen her. “I tried, and it just wasn’t enough,” she said. In romance, many times, heartbreak comes before lasting love.
But God does not line people up, inspect them, and then reject the ones He doesn’t like because that is not what real love does. Sometimes cultural expressions and ideas about love are so cheap that it’s almost impossible to fathom, in contrast, the wonderful extent of God’s love. The Bible confirms this, saying, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). God knows people very well, and God loves us. God knows the strengths and weaknesses, the secret sins and personal joys. God desires to save us from ourselves. God’s love gives us a second chance, and really, more chances than we deserve. No matter what sins we have committed, no matter how dirty, shameful or terrible it may be, God loves us. God loves us with an everlasting love.
The Bible teaches that God is love.
In the language of mathematics, that means God = love. In the language of teenagers, it means that God is, like, totally all about love. In a philosophical sense, God is so wrapped up in love that God is one with love itself.
Unlike a lovesick admirer, God does not simply profess God’s love in words. God proves God’s love in action. The Bible says, “But God demonstrates God’s own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Jesus Christ’s sacrifice represents the ultimate act of love because it shows God’s grace. Christ is not just a good person who did good things for people and then was willing to die for His actions. Christ died in order to bring people closer to God.
God’s love provided a plan of redemption and salvation for sinful people. God’s love provided the cross of Jesus Christ by which we can have forgiveness.
Besides, what good is it to die for someone if the act accomplishes nothing? Or if the motives are impure? The Bible says, “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3).
In speaking of love, 1 Corinthians 13 challenges people to do everything out of love, specifically the kind of love that God has shown through Jesus. Love is the motive. That means loving friends, enemies, neighbors, co-workers, spouses, children, parents, and even strangers with the merciful and selfless love that comes from God.
What a great challenge! There should be a holiday that celebrates love. Oh, and there is. But while Valentine’s Day focuses, for the most part, on romantic love, people can be sure that there’s so much more to that four-letter word. There’s a lifetime of days to connect to God, the Source of love, who teaches us, by example, to love with patience, faith, generosity, wisdom, and grace.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
If I speak in the languages of men and of angels, but have not love,
I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,
but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled;
where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Wednesday, January 30, Youth Club will meet from 5:15-7:15 at the RACC. Drop off and pick up will be there. We’ll meet in the small room across from the ice arena where we’ll eat our meal and play games before we skate. We’ll be skating during the regular open skate time which is 6-7:45, although Youth Club kids will finish skating by 7:15, our usual ending time. Middle School kids are welcome to join us anytime they are available.
We had our first meeting on May 21, 2003, and have spent the last 15 years cutting, pinning, tying and sewing. We have shared coffee/treats and stories while putting together quilts for many different occasions. We have had the privilege to make quits many of you have purchased for yourselves or loved ones. We are also humbled to have made many quilts for those sick, hospitalized or just in need of something warm to snuggle.
In honor of 15 wonderful years we are going to raffle a quilt! Chances ($1) will be available to purchase starting March 25. You can purchase them from Char, Marlys or Tina in the office. The quilt will be on display in the Narthex until May 20!
Thank you to all those who have helped us along the way both in your talents! We wouldn’t have had so much fun over the past years without each of you!
We are celebrating our 150th Anniversary all year round but our actual anniversary date is being celebrated on March 26, 10:15 am. Come join us as we are greeted by the Transitional Executive Presbyter of Minnesota Valleys Presbytery, the Rev. Rick Carus of Willmar, the Synod Executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, Ruling Elder Elona Street Stewart of Eagan and the Stated Clerk of General Assembly, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson of Louisville, Kentucky.
Our Parish Associate, the Rev. Pamela Prouty, who is both the Stated Clerk of Minnesota Valleys Presbytery and the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, our Seminary Student Intern Amy Levinski, our Clerk of Session, Ruling Elder Adrienne Danielson, and Ruling Elder Deb Hess, who is Moderator of Minnesota Valleys Presbytery and I will all be leading morning worship.
We will start worship by having the children, choir and worship leaders proceed into the Sanctuary, the children will sing the introit. The Chancel Choir will be singing later in the service. We will honor those that have been members of our church for fifty years or longer. The Rev. J. Herbert Nelson will give the morning message. He is known to be one of the best preachers in our denomination. Following worship we will take a group photo in the sanctuary. Following the picture, we will have a catered roast beef dinner by Baune’s Cafe at 12:15 pm. The dinner is being paid for funds given by a church member for the anniversary celebration. Please sign up for the meal by March 20, so we have enough food on hand. Following the meal we will have a cake reception from 1:30-3:30 pm, for the public. If able please stay around to have fellowship and greet visitors.