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Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.- 1 John 4: 7-8
Dear Friends, February 2017
Grace and peace. As you know- February 14- is St. Valentines Day- a day to think about love. Love is a topic that is mentioned every Sunday in church. I had someone who was new to the Christian faith ask me once, “Why do you keep talking about the same themes at church? Like love, peace, justice, service, forgiveness, grace, etc. Don't people know these already?” I replied that we need to constantly learn about these themes- especially love. The reality is that we will never reach a point that we don’t need to learn about love. That is why we need a Savior. To show and teach us love. In the English language there is only one word for love. We use the same word to say ‘I love this ice cream” as when we say “I love you” to a person. In Greek there are multiple words for love. Eros, Philia, Agape are three that help us understand what types of love there are. Eros is the romantic love between two people. Philia is the love between friends, and Agape is a holy, unconditional, selfless, Godly love by choice. This word for love- Agape- is throughout the Bible explaining the love of God through Jesus. “For God so loved the world that He gave is only Son….’ from John 3:16 is the Gospel in a nutshell. When we experience this type of love we desire to share it with others. In John 1 Andrew spends the day with Jesus and is transformed by this Agape love and then seeks out his brother Peter and brings him to Jesus. I have preached lately about the importance of bringing people to Jesus as Andrew did with Peter. That we are called to follow Jesus and be fishers of people.
This Agape love is what makes Peter, James, John and Andrew become fishers of people. In Matthew 418-25 we read that they drop their nets and follow Jesus and Jesus shows them this Agape love by loving and healing people. Matthew 4: 23-24 says…..Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, demon possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.
This unconditional love by choice will bring us to people who are suffering. Jesus doesn’t just talk about love he shows what this agape love is all about. Those who follow Jesus will follow him to hurting people and then all the way to the cross. When you experience this saving love you become a fisher of people. I shared the last few Sunday’s about a man named Ron who knocked on my dorm room door 35 years ago and led me to a personal relationship with Jesus. He had dozens of doors slammed in his face until he made it to my door. If Ron had stopped after 5, or 10, or 20, or 25….. I would not be a pastor today. I have asked those who really love to fish whether they still love to fish even if they do not catch any fish and they always say- yes. I want us to be a church that loves to fish for people even if we don’t catch any. I like the saying… “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” And the reality is that we do not do the catching- it is Jesus through us. As 1 John 4:11-12 says- Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
So I encourage you to be a fisher of people and love others with an agape love- not just in February but all year long.
I invite everyone to take part in the SECRET PRAYER PAL ministry that is beginning this month. We put your name in and you will take a name to pray for. You will be prayed for by a Secret Prayer Pal for a period of time- sending a minimum of 2 anonymous notes and then at the end of 6 weeks reveal who you are. There have been many long lasting a meaningful relationships that have come from the SECRET PRAYER PAL ministry. ALL are encouraged to take part- people of ALL ages.
There are two big birthdays in our church this February 2017. Both people are very young in the spirit and filled with the love of Jesus. We celebrate that Nancy Taylor will be turning 50 years young and Earl Hutt will be turning 90 years young! We thank God for Nancy and Earl and how we see the light of Jesus shine through them!!
A lot older than Nancy and Earl is our beloved town. Westborough- the 100th Town of Massachusetts- will turn 300 this year! This year the Town of Westborough will be celebrating its 300th birthday. It is a great year to increase our message of love to all people- to be a light shining in the darkness- as a church in town. I love to have First UMC build a float for the grand parade on September 10, 2017. We are looking for people who would like to help design and build this float. We would celebrate who we are and what God does through us as a church family. Please call or email the church office if you would like to help.
Nancy and I- and the kids- would like to thank our church family for the generous gift given to us on Christmas Eve. Your thoughtfulness and love has truly touched our hearts. Please know our gratitude as your love warms our hearts.
Let people know that you love them and God loves them. Show them the agape love of Jesus through acts of selflessness and sacrifice.
In Christian Love,
Agape (Ancient Greek ἀγάπη, agápē) is "love: the highest form of love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God." Not to be confused with philia – brotherly love – agape embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that serves regardless of circumstances.
Sunday Worship Schedule
Join us for a traditional worship service @ 9:00am with age appropiate Sunday School classes for kids ages pre-k through high school.
If you enjoy a worship service with a more contemporary feel, please consider our 10:30am service. We offer a one-room Sunday School format for children ages pre-k through second grade.
Come early and join us for a hymn sing at 8:45 am.
Refreshments and fellowship time at 10 am.