Crazy love

 

Dear friends

Love isn’t just part of the Christian life, it is the Christian life. Love is the lifeblood of Christianity. The radical lifestyle God calls us into is one of love – loving the unlovable and loving those who bitterly oppose us even though it may cost us dear. 

One man who was prepared to pay the cost of love was Archbishop Janani Luwum of Uganda. In the 1970s Uganda was ruled over by President Idi Amin. He became known as the ‘Hitler of Africa’. He was ruthless in his policy of repression, a reign of terror in which over 50,000 Asian people were expelled from the country. Archbishop Luwum out of love for his countrymen who were being arbitrarily killed, stood up to the President and personally delivered a note of protest. That act of defiance cost the Archbishop his life. Amin had him murdered. 

His friend and Bishop, Festo Kivengere subsequently wrote a book entitled; ‘I love Idi Amin’. When asked what he would do if he were seated across a table from Amin, with a gun in his hand, said; ‘I would give it (the gun) to him and say, “This is your weapon. My weapon is love”. 

Love is powerful. Love in the heart of God moved him to act to rescue mankind. The same love prompted Jesus to give himself up for us and create a new humanity by his power. It is this love which is the most dynamic transforming power in the world. 

As we demonstrate this love through our lives, we see power to heal relationships, restore fractured communities and mend broken families. As we serve one another with Christ’s love, we follow the example of Jesus who, ‘did not come to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom (that is, ‘in the place of’) many. It is only when we truly understand God’s crazy love for us and what he has done for us that we recognise our need to respond.   

‘Crazy Love’ Expressed in Commitment 

Dedication

Today we celebrate the safe arrival of young Luke Hargreave and welcome family and friends to a service of Thanksgiving and Dedication. Your presence here is a response of love to James and Rachel and the family and their invitation to share in this occasion. 

Wedding

In a few weeks time, Will Satchell and Eileen Simon will be making the commitment of marriage as a tangible expression of their love for one another and their desire to share the rest of their lives together. We join with them in celebrating their decision to commit to life long union. 

Baptism

On April 1st, Palm Sunday, a number of our church family will be taking the step of Baptism, or renewing their Baptismal vows as a response to Christ’s love for them and their desire to live fully for Jesus as faithful followers for the rest of their lives. We will be celebrating that commitment to Christ in our usual energetic and joyful way. 

Stewardship

On Sunday 25thMarch, we will all have an opportunity to express our love for God and all he has done for us in Jesus as we review how we use the resources he has entrusted to us. On this Sunday we will be thinking specifically about our giving to the Lord’s work in and through the life of our church. This will be an occasion when in response to God’s great love for us, we renew our financial commitment for the coming year to build God’s Kingdom through our lives. 

In these various ways we show forth our commitment to working out our faith as a response to God’s crazy love for us. 

With love in Christ, Stephen