Keep Your Love On!
Our mission is to be a church that is loved into life and is living in love. Loved into life by the unconditional, extravagant, relentless love of God. And then living in the same kind of love with which our Father God has loved us. That way, together we show the world what God is like. Together, we make the love of God real to people around us in the real world. Together, we get to be a church that looks like Jesus.
As is hopefully clear by now, the life which we are loved into is represented pictorially in Scripture as a river (Ezekiel 47:1-12) and the community of love that this river of life produces is represented as the kingdom tree (Matthew 13:31-32). This tree, the community of love, includes all the people we have the honour of reaching out to, serving, welcoming and including as a church, in different places and spaces. It is not an inward looking community. And yet the quality of our relationships within the church family is vital to the health and strength of this tree. Our love for one another is what enables the people we reach out to, to understand what it means to follow Jesus. (John 13:35).
As we start this New Year, we therefore want to encourage everyone in the church family to recommit to building quality relationships. Where there are broken relationships, commit to reconciliation. Where there are weak relationships, commit to strengthening them. Where there are struggling relationships, commit to working at ‘keeping your love on’, no matter what. To that end I am recommending a book that is one of the best I have read on building quality relationships – ‘Keep Your Love On!’, by Danny Silk. Warning: it is very challenging and his exceptional insights and guidance need to be applied and not just read! But if we allow it to challenge us and commit to following the biblical and practical principles he teaches, it will help us all. Here’s a quote as a taster:
“…quality love relationships do not happen by accident. Real love is built the old fashioned way – through hard work.”
So here’s to a good year of the most important kind of work we can give ourselves to – the work of building quality relationships and loving each other well.