St Luke Simpson UMC Blog and Sermon LOVE series

Last week we kicked off a new sermon series using the passage from Matthew 22:34-40 where Jesus calls us to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul! When we follow the greatest commandments, we love God for who God is and for what God has, is, and will continue to do in our lives! Rev. Black submits this week that we are also called to love the CHURCH! The universal Church is an extension of who God is and what God has, is, and will continue to do with us and for us! The Church also brings us into a loving and unique relationship with God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This text from Matthew 16:18-19 reaffirms that Jesus wants us to be connected to God through our relationship with the Church that Jesus himself founded!

To be a part of the Church where the body of Christ gathers, worships, and experiences God’s love together is a gift! God works through the life of the Church and through these relationships and these moments so that the love we have for God, neighbor, and self is used to help the universal Church to TRANSFORM THE WORLD through LOVE!

For those who feel they do not need to be a part of a church to love God, think about a relationship with God and church like this: Have you ever found yourself thinking “I do not need to go to church to love God or know God”?

What if we lived by this philosophy? Our lives would look something like this:

“Oh, I am married to my spouse but that does not mean I need to live with my spouse or share life with them or love them.”

“Yes, I am a parent but I do not need to ever gather, see, or visit with my kids to share life with them or love them.”

Sounds sort of crazy right? To be in relationship requires us to make time for one another out of LOVE! To be in relationship requires us to spend time with one another growing in relationship with one another and our maker!

Same goes for the church. It is biblical for the church to gather and grow together in God’s love. God moves and gives power to the Church to love and transform the lives of others. Remember, we are a part of a story. The universal Church’s story included chapters of our relationships with the Church. These chapters reflect stories of how God’s love through the church has brought about radical transformation to the world through hospitals, charities, writers, musicians, church leaders, and church ministries everywhere!

Today, we encourage you to be a part of God’s church. Come and be a part of this chapter in the story!

Come be the Church.

Come be changed.

Come be transformed.

Come be a part of a family, a body of Christ who changes and transforms others.

Come love and be loved.

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Amy Duhon Castro