Freedom Found in Love
C.S. Lewis, in his book The Great Divorce, creates a fictionalized version of what it might be like to travel toward Heaven after death. One of the scenes in the book is between a man who has recently passed, being met by his long deceased sister, who has come from Heaven to meet him. She is meeting him to persuade him to continue moving forward, but the odd thing is that this little man is towing along a false version of himself, one that does the talking for him, and one that is absorbed with unforgiveness. In fact, even as he arrived on the edge of Heaven, he was still attempting to hurt and manipulate her.
But his darts no longer worked, because she was filled with joy. As each jab fell short, she responded with a kindness: “Don’t you understand? There are no miseries here,” and “Now I love truly,” and, “Here is all joy. Everything bids you stay.” With each word of love from her, the man grew smaller and smaller, as she encouraged him to give up the false self and embrace true love and joy. In the end, he couldn’t let go of the false self he had created. He couldn’t embrace the fullness of who God created him to be.
She found freedom from the guilt of others in the true love of Christ. This is the very thing Andrew reminded us of on Sunday as he looked at Galatians 5. In fact the phrase he left us with that has been resonating in my heart and mind since is, “Freedom is found in Love.” When you are consumed by Christ’s love, so many things that otherwise might hurt simply fall short of wounding. And of course, the opposite is true, that when I am not walking in the fullness of Christ’s love, then I’m much easier to offend and to wound. I might take very small offenses and blow them up to gigantic proportions. I don’t know about you, but I like walking in freedom and forgiveness and joy and having a light-hearted approach to life much more!
My prayer for our church is that we would be overwhelmed with Christ’s love this week. Spend time re-reading Galatians 5. Focus on what is at the root of freedom, especially the verses that mention how love is at the root of freedom. Also read John 13:35.
Meditate on God’s Love for You
Try spending five minutes each morning for the next five days just sitting and thinking about how much God loves you. For some, this may be a painful exercise, especially if your default mode is to assume you are unloved. But if you are in Christ you are DEEPLY loved by Him. We have to fight to truly believe and experience this amazing truth. It’s so important to really know His love, because as we walk in his love moment by moment, it will radically change the way we love others!
Celebrating Eighty-Five Years
I believe God is doing amazing things at Valley View. He is raising up many passionate people to be a part of reaching our community. He is doing this in a church that has been around for EIGHTY-FIVE years. In fact, this summer marks the 85th anniversary of the founding of our church. We’re working on plans to have a formal celebration event when we reopen the Fellowship Hall. We will announce the date once we have a final delivery date for the new walls (they are working to clean, repair, and paint the track this week).
God keeps providing for us in so many ways. He has provided for the renovation of the Fellowship Hall. He has stirred families to be a part of VBS and student camps this summer. We are in a great place to see Him move throughout Valley Station, PRP, and Southwest Louisville in 2023. Thank you for all the ways you pray for our church. God is at work!