By Pastor Mark Woodward
Maple Leaf Parish Churches: Spring Valley: Faith, Cherry Grove, Fountain, Preston
When I was ordained as a pastor, some very talented artists from my home church made a beautiful and inspiring banner. The banner depicted a crown of holly and a crown of thorns which represented the birth and crucifixion of Jesus. Red letters which symbolized the presence and power of the Holy Spirit proclaimed, “LOVE FINDS A WAY…” Over the years this banner has been on the wall in some of the churches that I have served. The banner has been a constant reminder for me of the power of what Christian love is all about.
John and Charles Wesley believed and asserted that love is at the very core of what the Christian faith is all about. For the Wesley brothers, the love of God in Jesus Christ served as the foundation of the Christian faith. Loving God with heart, soul mind and strength and loving one’s neighbor as oneself was truly essential.
Ultimately, how do we allow Christian love to guide our lives? In a society which is often divided, polarized and conflicted, how do we allow love to find a way? Over the years, I have experienced various examples of brokenness, conflict, hurt and pain… and I have witnessed the power of love at work in the lives of people. I have seen God’s redeeming love at work in the lives of people bringing about forgiveness, healing and wholeness. I have seen the power of love at work in people’s lives over and over again. God’s redeeming love does indeed find a way…
I once had a church member ask why I talked about God’s redeeming love so much. I told them that I, like Wesley, also believed love was at the very core of our Christian faith. Love has the power to transform, change and heal people’s lives….Love brings about wholeness, renewal and beautiful new beginnings.
Our world is full of so many complicated, perplexing problems. In all of it, we need to realize the power of God’s redeeming and transforming love. Even when the way forward is difficult and steep, we must never forget that “LOVE FINDS A WAY.” I cherish this banner and I look at it often. Perhaps as we come to the Season of Pentecost, the presence and power of the Holy Spiritwill remind us of the power of God’s love at work in our lives… Take a moment to read, reread and reread again 1 Corinthians 13:1-13… “Faith, hope and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love…” Yes!!!! LOVE DOES FIND A WAY!