Our sermon this Sunday is about love. Love is a core value of Integrity Church. We love love. We watch movies about love. We listen to songs about love. We love love.
The Bible talks about love and law. Most of the time we live by law. We do what we do to get a reward, or to avoid consequences we don't want. We need law. But love is better than law. Love is when we do what we do for no other reason than the interests of someone else.
The Bible also tells us to owe no one anything except love. Love is a debt that we never escape, no matter how long we live. It might seem nice to not be beholden to anyone, to not need to impress anyone, to not need to repay anyone. But even if we found ourselves in that enviable position, we would still owe the human family love. The goal is not to isolate ourselves, free and independent. The goal is to be part of a community where love abides.
We know love because God loved us first. We are all deeply beloved sons and daughters of the most high God. We are all people for whom Christ died. However we come to know that, we have to trust that we are loved before we are able to love others.
In this particular value, Integrity Church is no different than any other church. All churches have love as a core value. And all churches fall short at times in living out the love they claim. But we confess our failings, and are forgiven, and try again, because God first loved us, and because we love love.