This week will be one of appropriateness. It will be appropriate for our message Sunday to come from one of our Certified Lay Servants (Jane Brown) who will bring us greetings, inspiration and information from the Celebrate Recovery Summit. Nineteen of our leaders will be making the trip to Hendersonville, Tennessee to learn and grow so they can serve better than ever here in Abbeville.
There will be another appropriate thing happening too. Lee and I will be in North Carolina to place grave markers on her mother and father's graves. There is a very appropriate caption on both ... "loved always." It is an interesting two words because it can be taken in two appropriate ways.
The first way "loved always" can be taken is our view toward Roy and Maria Lineberger. We will always love them. We knew their nuances, quirks, flaws and talents. We knew their moods, their joys and their struggles. We knew their brokenness and their blessedness. Both because of and in spite of these things, we loved them. They will be loved always.
You could also read "loved always" as Roy and Maria's view of life. They loved always. They knew our nuances, quirks, flaws and talents. They knew our moods, our joys and our struggles. They knew our brokenness and our blessedness. Both because of and in spite of these things, they loved us well.
I mention these because 1 Corinthians 13 describes this kind of love. It is the 'agape' love that is our best description of how God loves us. Agape love is persistent, profound, palpable and perfect. Agape love is struggle, steadfast, strident and strong. God's love sees us like we are and still seeks the best for us. Roy and Maria loved us this way. Their earthly love lacked the perfection that God's love exhibits, but I think it is as close as we get. And it is a beautiful love that is expressed in our love for them and in how they loved us.
There is a passage in Scripture about markers. 1 Peter 2:5 says "like living stones, you are being built ... " I love that! Living stones, built by God, say that something profound and beautiful happened here. In Roy and Maria ... in our Celebrate Recovery leaders ... in agape love ... God has 'happened.' May God's love happen in your day today, to you and through you! Randy