Bringing the Text to Life

The Bonds of Love 1 John 4:7-12

"God is love." How many times have we said that without really considering what "love" actually is, what love really entails? This sermon examines some of the ways the church is called to embody love, and the binding and loosing power of love.


This week's texts finger love as the most characteristic manifestation of God we can ourselves imitate. Unfortunately "love" has also become one of the most maudlin and meaningless words in our vocabulary. The American Heritage Dictionary defines love in terms of sex and sports: an "intense affection and warm feeling for another person; strong sexual desire for another person) a strong fondness or enthusiasm; or a zero score in tennis." The sacrificial, incarnational nature of Christ-like love has been lost amid our claims that we "love" our favorite soft drink, baseball team, or partner-of-the-moment. Love has become such a nebulous, fuzzy, catch-all term that we resist thinking about what must be present for true love to exist and to flourish - for love to be able to "bear fruit."

Dr. Ross Marrs, Senior Minister at the First United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Indiana, relates an all too familiar phone conversation. "The phone rings and the voice on the other end asks, 'Will...

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