Unpacking the NYC 2019 Theme

37 Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NRSV)

Love God. Love Others.

Simple, but challenging. Sometimes described as two pillars of following Jesus.

God is the source of love. Love was His idea. He created the world and us to know and share this love. He sent Jesus to display this love and make a way for us to live in this love forever.

But what are we doing with it? How do we accept it, show it, and share it? The answer is simple, but it’s not easy. Love God and Love Others.

But what does that mean? Love is a verb. Love is active. Love is about a relationship built on trust, surrender, and giving. Love is not passive. It must be expressed. Love must be lived out. 

Love Lived is holiness–where love for God and love for others comes together.

 

It is the center point of our relationship with God and others. It’s not enough to only Love God OR Love Others. Following Jesus requires both! Ultimately, loving God compels us to love others in authentic ways. Real love leads to holiness. It’s not something we manufacture. The love of Christ works in and through His followers to make a difference in this world now.

As Holiness people, we know this because it is in our bones. It’s our story from the beginning. Love for God and others is how and why we began.

In a crazy mixed up world with so many bad examples of love, maybe it’s time to reorient ourselves around the author of love and take the simple, yet challenging call of Jesus seriously. Love God. Love Others. This is how love is lived out.