Welcome to the final Mummy Meditation on the theme of Love. If you missed last week's then do hop over to Naomi's blog to catch up as it was a really powerful post about loving our spouses.
Throughout these last four weeks we have had the joy of digging deeper into what this first fruit of the Spirit actually is and to come out with a greater understanding of it. I don't think that it is at all a mistake that love was the first fruit listed, and it really ties in with this week's verse:
"If I speak with the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal" 1 Corinthians 13:1
You know, there are many denominations of Christianity. I for one have been involved in a few of these throughout my life, including the Church of England, Evangelical, Independent and Pentecostal denominations, and whilst there are disagreements on various things and differences of opinion on minor issues, the one thing that unites us all is LOVE.
Love is the common theme in Christianity (whether it looks like that some days or not!). It was through God's desire to love that he created the world. It was because of His love for us that He sent His son down to rescue us when we were broken. The two core commandments that Jesus gave us were simply "Love God" and "Love your neighbour". If you cut a christian in half, running through the centre should be love.
Love should be the first manifestation of becoming a christian and of having the Spirit of God in your life - that is why it is listed first. By giving your life to God, He pours His love into you and the result is that it will start to overflow out of you and into others around you. You just can't help it! When you truly understand the love of God, then it bursts out with no way of stopping it!
Now here is the tricky bit. This week's verse suggests that there are some people who have lost this. Who aren't overflowing with love. And even though they might be speaking in tongues or showing other gifts of the spirit, they haven't got that love anymore.
When we as christians lose sight of how much God has filled us with his love and it stops overflowing out of us, that is when we start to become those annoying christians that people don't want to listen to - we are well and truly a clanging cymbal! We become that annoying drone in someones ear telling them to "turn or burn". That is not what God wanted. He wanted a family of loving people, those who would cascade down His love for us into our communities and our world.
Now I'm not judging here - I am sure all of us would say that at one time or another we have lost that feeling of love towards the world. That it stops being second nature. When that happens, instead of carrying on being the clanging cymbal, why not choose to spend some time with the one who fills us to overflowing with His own love.
We move on the the second fruit of the Spirit - Joy. So please join us over on Naomi's blog as we meditate on the following verse:
"And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name." Luke 1:46-49