Happy Valentine’s Day!
Whether you enjoy or avoid Valentine’s Day, we all have one inescapable need: to feel loved. Love is a core value of Cold Spring Church. God loves us more than we can possibly imagine. “For God loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” (John 3:16-17). We seek to, “love one another with mutual affection…” and to “outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10). We want to belong to something meaningful and feel cared for. Each of us can fulfill our life’s mission of love that God has given us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10). God wants us to show that love to others every day of the year.
“The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (That is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:8b-13).
For many, special days like Valentine’s Day only reinforces that we either feel loved, or it reminds us that we feel unloved. While all of us are unlovable from time to time, all of us can count on God “lavishing his love on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1).
You are loved! All of us (and I mean all of us, including me!) struggle to consistently and authentically have a heart for everyone. Always listen and show respect to others. Jesus’ love for the world shows us that we will have heart-to-heart contact with neighbors we might not agree with, with people we may not like, or even fear. Our neighbors, young and old, deserve to experience the love of God. And Cold Spring Church continues to deliver spiritual resources to our neighbors. As Presbyterians, we are positively influenced by the great 16th Century Reformers like John Calvin. Our faith affects our entire being. Our Transformation Journey engages both our mind and heart.
To “have a heart” as a follower of Jesus, however, is not easy. It is not automatic. On our Transformation Journey, we want to thoughtfully reflect on our ministry as we move forward. How do we do that? One way is to remind each other to test all we do by asking ourselves:
“Does this idea show I have a heart?,”
“How does our project/ministry show the love of God?,”
“In what ways did our service/event/activity show God’s love?,”
“How could I improve and better show God’s love next time?”
The Apostle Paul reminded the community of faith in Rome:
“The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim).”
As we embrace a We Have a Heart spirit this year, we will better reflect and demonstrate the love of God in greater Cape May because… (say it with me!):
I have a heart!
We have a heart!
Yes, we do, and we will!
And thank you for all you do!