When we say, with the author of 1 John, that "God is Love," what do we mean by this? According to this text, if taken quite literally, it is not simply that God loves whom God chooses to love, but God's essence is love.
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That time for purification, according to the law of Moses, was forty days after the birth (see Leviticus 12). Tomorrow, February 2, marks the Feast of the Presentation, also known as Candlemas, when the church recalls Jesus' first journey to Jerusalem.
Sometimes I'm a little slow. It's true. I don't always read the Bible as if it were for me. Lately I most often read scripture in search of a sermon for the congregation. Now, I realize that most of these sermons are also for me, but, yeah. I forget just to read for God's leading for my own life, for a deeper understanding of my own place with the People of God. It's a slippery slope.
It didn't take our new governor long to stumble with his comment that if you haven't accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, "You're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother." It took the governor a long time to apologize, saying he didn't mean to offend. I've heard from lots of United Methodists who are not so much offended by the governor's remarks as concerned that he - perhaps unintentionally - misrepresented the Christian faith.