You just can’t beat the gospel story for drama. If you were going to make a graph, it’d be all peaks and valleys – highs and lows compressed with hardly any smooth easy stretches in between. Turn the page past the joy of Jesus’ manger birth and suddenly we’re onto the steep Lenten journey to face his final days.
This year the calendar has some wry humor to it, what with Ash Wednesday on Valentine’s day and Easter falling on April Fool’s day. No wonder the UCC Lenten Devotional chose “Lovers and Fools “ for the theme this year! Between those dates, we have this stretch of six weeks to consider what’s love got to do with it? – with this story-his story, and ours?
That’s behind our Lenten theme here: All for Love… Love for All. Simply put, the story of Jesus’ ministry can be summed up by this: everything he did, everything he taught, it was all for love. Take his message to heart, and the implication is love for all, love so inclusive and unconditional and astounding it asks the very best of us – love not for some, love for all.
But what is love? One of my well worn answers… love is our highest calling and our hardest work. Worn because no matter how hard I try, there’s still more to unpack in that! What about you? How would you fill in the blank…Love is ______. To say “God is love” sounds simple, but there’s so much to unpack there too… so many layers to what that means, what that looks like, what that implies. Jesus’ story has a way of showing, again and again, more than simple affection or feeling. Love is a verb. Love takes action. Look through these pages, and you’ll find opportunities for your reflection, invitations to action, engagement, and worship – all for love’s sake. Looking forward to sharing this part of the journey with you.
In love and peace,