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INCREASING AND ABOUNDING IN LOVE is our focus this year. Today is Palm Sunday and the topic of our discussion is: Love that is Practical. Palm Sunday is a time when Christians all over the world celebrate the “triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem”. He is on the road to Calvary to pay for our sins. John says “Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Love is an action and as such, practical love is love that goes into the world and finds people where they are in life. Practical love goes an extra mile without hesitation.

Practical love is central in the teachings of Jesus as expressed in the various biblical stories. The definition of God's love and grace probably receives its finest expression in the parable of the prodigal son. The younger son demands a share of his inheritance goes to a far country and eats up everything. A famine strikes and he ends up feeding with pigs. On his return the father joyfully welcomes him back and puts up a party in celebration of his return. Practical love not only forgives, but also reconciles and restores people into loving and caring relationships.

In Luke 10:25-27, Jesus gives another powerful story to demonstrate what practical love means. The story is about a man who is injured by robbers and left to die. Two Jewish men, very religious leaders saw the injured man, they seem to be repulsed, and do everything possible to ignore and avoid the victim. On the contrary when the Samaritan saw him, he was moved with compassion and did whatever needed to be done to save his life. That is practical love. It takes many forms and appears in different ways. It is seen as food is given to the hungry, when we visit the sick in hospital; weep with those who have lost loved ones, visit to prisoners and giving clothes to the needy (Mathew 25:31-46).

Bishop William C. Martin a Methodist Minister and very passionate on church growth by way of reaching out to the lost had this to say about Christian love: “Love is the attribute of character – the only one – about which we are able to say, if man has this' it proves unconditionally that he is a Christian. If he does not have love, no matter what else he has or does, it proves that he is not a follower of the Lamb of God”

The early church did not go around the world saying they have this outstanding and cool new religion with awesome rules and traditions which makes it better than other religions. Instead they expressed the love of Christ in them to the hurting world (Acts 2). Jesus calls us to care for a hurting world by way of: putting others first. True love denies self to give support to another. This should be more than an act of humility. It is affection. This is not to say that we think less of ourselves, but we feel so warmly towards our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that we are happy to lay aside our interests and preferences to allow them experience the blessings of God (Philippians 2:3). Listening is another way of showing love to others. Just as God listens to us when we call on him, so we must listen to others. Until we listen to another, we are ill-equipped to know where they are hurting and seek their good (James 1:19). Lastly we must practice generosity. Love seeks to give and God has called us to steward what he has given us by sharing it with others.

The emphasis here is that God does not want us to give him a classroom definition of loving others, we must express and demonstrate God's love for others in the real world, by showing compassion to one in need as did the father to the prodigal son and the good Samaritan to the injured man. How practical is your love for others?


Pastor's Weekly Corner

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Lavington United Church was founded in 1960 through a joint effort of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Methodist Church of Kenya (MCK) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) as a community church to minister to the Lavington community. <<Read full History>>

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