God's love revealed in Jesus
This post was contributed by worship leader Mike Hale.
Can you feel the love? In the power of the gospel and the presence of the Holy Spirit the Church proclaims a Jesus that is the love of God made personally known to humanity. The weeks leading up to Christmas are a perfect time to point to this love. But then, that same message of love should be on our hearts and minds every week of the year.
I’m reminded of when my friend said that after much searching he had finally found a congregation that he would call “home.” The clincher for him was finding so much of the love of God there that he truly felt loved and accepted. The pastor and the worship leader began nearly every service with confident and yet humble and gracious reminders of how completely God loves each person gathered there, and how much God loves every man, woman and child in the whole world.
Everything in the service was done under the umbrella of God’s love, and during numerous visits my friend saw and experienced enough to know it was more than just words. Now he serves on a ministry team there and helps share that love with others.
My friend’s story led me to do to some real soul searching as a worship leader. Huge question—is God’s love evident when I lead worship? Big subject. For starters, I soon made a more concerted effort to point to the love of God—sometimes during the welcome and sometimes between one of the first several songs. Recently I said, “Our being here today is not really our own doing. You and I were drawn here because of the unfailing love of God—because the Father’s love is revealed in his Son Jesus, who has gathered us together by the Holy Spirit. One day all people will know that same love, and will see Jesus as he is. That’s the loving God we worship here today!”
The point is that we are all sinners saved by grace—loved and accepted in Christ. We are a people gathered because of God’s great compassion, mercy, patient wisdon and faithfulness—all elements of his incredible unending love for us and all his creation. God wants to be with us, and wants us to share and proclaim that same reality of true acceptance, inclusion and love.
And that leads us right back to Christmas and the mystery of a baby born to a virgin named Mary in Bethlehem.