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“Living our love”

Adams United Methodist Church

Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church

Pastor Missy McCarthy

Music: Sue& Craig Gamet, Mike Tyo

April 25, 2021 4th Sunday of Easter


Scripture:

Acts 4:5-12

1 John 3:16-24


Children’s Moment:

How can you tell when your pet loves you? (They rush to meet you, waggle their tales, and are excited to see you). What about your parents? (They take care of you, give you hugs and kisses, protect you and do things with you, tell you they love you) What about a friend? (They call you, check on you, share their favorite snacks). You can tell by their words and their actions. Most of the time when we think about these things, we think about the actions before we think about the words that people say. In first John we are reminded of that this morning, that our actions speak as loudly, if not louder than our words. We love others through our actions John the Evangelist reminds us. We are reminded that we show who we are as children of God by taking care of each other. So how do you show your love for God? How do you show your love for your neighbor? What about for those you don’t like very much, but are still brothers or sisters in Christ? How do our actions show God’s love?

One of the ways you can do this is by joining this Saturday in the lawn clean-up day (May 1st). We can show love for some of the folks in our community by helping them with lawn work and stacking wood for a few hours on Saturday. Let’s pray.

Reflection: “Living our love”

How do you love? What does it look like? How do you communicate it to others? How do you show you care? I mean these are things we don’t usually think a whole lot about normally, but we tend to think about them even less when I ask how do you love through church? Or, how do we as Christian’s love, and how do others know it? John tells us that Jesus laid down his life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters – but really what does that look like? Especially what does it look like in a day and age when it is hard to even come close to imagining laying down your life for a stranger let alone a friend. Who does he count as a brother or sister? What does laying down our own wants, desires, privileges and rights for someone else look like in our day and age? John tells us that is what love really is and that is the kind of love Jesus had for us to take on human form, come to Earth and be crucified for us.

We have spent the last two years exploring discipleship and our walk with Christ, but have we really thought through how we live out our love? How we identify love? How we know love within the church? We think we know it when we see it, yet so often we forget to take notice of it. It is the moments of getting up and moving so that you make room for someone else to be more comfortable at the back of the sanctuary and you go to the front pew – because no one likes to be up front. It is sacrificing an hour to visit someone who hasn’t come to worship because you have missed them. It is having a noisy sanctuary because we have families in it and sitting in not your usual spot so you can hear better to make sure everyone is has a spot in God’s house. It is giving up comfort, time, and privileges in order to make sure others have some of those very same things – not because of an obligation but out of love. Following Jesus’s example.

John reminds the people that if you have something and your brothers and sisters don’t you should be willing to help them out – wasn’t that the idea behind the start of the noisy can – long before I got here, to gather loose change to help each other out with what was needed. We have been able to give thousands of dollars to the Rhode Center (just last week it was $30), the Watertown Urban Mission (just last week it was $70), Campership (just last week it was $20) the backpack program and many other organizations besides food baskets, gas cards and phone cards from that noisy can over the years. (Last Week’s Noisy can Adams $88, SSUMC $68.75). John reminded us that if we had something and someone else was in need, we ought to sacrifice so that we each had a little something so no one was without.

Love isn’t just about what we give, it is how we live. How do we love our neighbor? Seeing a need or a place we can lend a hand and offering to do it with a willing heart. In SSUMC the Mantles had some old trees that needed to be taken care of and a member who could use them, so we came together to lend a hand. At Adams there were some folks who needed a hand with yard work, so we came together to help out. This coming Saturday we will be doing it again with yard work, many hands making light work, and having fun while we are at it. It requires giving up a few hours of your Saturday morning, but it is worth it, and it is the way we love.

There are folks living on tight budgets so we have come together to gather items for Spartans Closet, sort them, make sure that it is all good quality and not stained clothing in order to provide a place for free clothing for anyone in the community who needs them including coats and shoes for the winter. We participate in the Angel tree and Red Bird Mission to make sure everyone has a chance to get a super special Christmas present. We saw that folks needed things at Samaritan Keep Home last Christmas and worked to take care of it – as John said – let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth. I am so proud to be part of churches that love with action and truth.

This week I invite you to find a way to love with action and truth. To live out God’s love in action this week. How can you lay down part of your life for another in action? How can you live into the love that Jesus calls you to for your neighbors? What is Jesus inviting you into this week?

Additional Readings

Monday – Psalm 23

Tuesday – John 10:11-18

Wednesday – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Thursday – Philippians 2: 3-11

Friday – Matthew 5:43-48

Saturday – Romans 13:8-10

Announcements and Updates

Men’s Bible study on Acts on Tuesday at 7:00 pm please join us. One -hour – We will be starting John this week, ch. 3:22-4.

Wednesdays