Spirit Alive: Called to Love

Spirit Alive: Called to Love


Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog that looks at different aspects of mission and ministry throughout the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and beyond.

August 23, 2016

Food for the Soul:

What's Love Got to Do with It?

"But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
I Corinthians 13: 13
I love bargain book tables. There always seem to be treasures buried there. I found one of those treasures at the bargain book table at General Conference in May. It appeared under the title Love. Period. : When All Else Fails and is written by Rudy Rasmus. I got this great book for a mere $4.99. It was quite a deal!
And I knew I was in for a good read, because I had the pleasure of hearing Rudy speak at a Northwest Leadership Institute at Boise First United Methodist Church a few years ago and was deeply impressed by Rudy's words and presence there. His book Love. Period. didn't disappoint. It is a treasure...and food for the soul.
In it, Rasmus takes us back to 1 Corinthians 13 and reminds us that love never gives up and cares more for others than it does for self. Love doesn't strut around, doesn't have a swelled head, and isn't about "me first." Love trusts in God and always looks for the best.
From here, Rasmus shares a lot of wisdom and many words of encouragement about the meaning of love.
Here is a sampling of what Rasmus has to say: "Love is both a feeling (noun) and a doing (verb). If you feel love, then you must do the loving thing. When you do the loving thing, then you feel more love"...."For love to flourish in any group, there must be a genuine appreciation for other people and opportunities to explore new relationships....Love requires a generous heart that is free of fear and a willingness to let yourself be known, even as you become willing to know others, including their unpleasant traits."
Rasmus also reminds us that there are challenges involved in becoming loving people: "We each have our own unique skills and gifts. We each have a specific cultural and racial dimension to our lives. We are diverse in our callings, our talents, and our ministries. What hinges us together as Christians is not clinging to our differences and defending them as valid. What melds us together into an active and effective body of Christ is our choosing to build bridges of love across our differences."
He also says that "there is always a stone standing in the way of the power of love. There is a stone somewhere that is covering a dream...a desire...a calling of God...a purpose of good." But love overcomes all things, and Rasmus says that "each of us must address the conditions we have placed on the death of our dreams and spiritually and mentally roll away those stones."
In fact, Rasmus calls upon us to become "Love Revolutionaries," saying, "A Love Revolutionary is someone who looks at the existing structures and says no to the prevailing system because he or she can no longer live and breathe within an absence of love." And then he says, "Imagine what would happen if we united in spreading a Love Revolution, starting in the church and moving out to our communities and the entire world! With unconditional love as our primary motivation, we could change broken systems so that people all over the world will experience real love."
The question is: Are we up to the challenge?
What's love got to do with it? According to 1 John 4: 7, evidently its got a lot to do with it: "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and every one who loves is born of God and knows God...If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
Or...as Rasmus says: "It's all about love. Period."
Blessings on your journey,
Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog and email by Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. It seeks out where the spirit is alive in our congregations and communities.

comments powered by Disqus

Lowell Greathouse

Lowell Greathouse is the Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church. He looks for places to find where the spirit is alive and help them grow in vitality and fruitfulness. Share with him at lowell@umoi.org

Boldly Making Disciples of Jesus Christ - Vitalizing the Church - Transforming the World