Last Sunday I was privileged to go to Orkney again to preach. It was Reformation Sunday. I preached about how reformation is something that is much more than surface changes, and that it requires a surrender of our will to God’s. I based the sermon on the commandments that Jesus gave, Love God with all you heart and soul and strength and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.
It seems to me that when you do that, surrendering your will to the will of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit is a crucial component. Loving is not something that we do naturally. Oh yes we gush over babies and kittens and puppy and say we love them. We even gush about romantic love… but none of those things are the difficult love that starts by seeing ourselves as God sees us, and then flows from us to transform the world around us. Being people whose lives are lived in obedience to God and sharing his love with the world is the way in which we express our faith and show God the depth of love we have for him.
Yes I know that is a very challenging statement and indeed even a challenging way to live. I believe that it is true though, because of what I see in my own life. When I am busy putting love into the world by serving those whom God calls us to serve I notice that my own spiritual path is much easier. Taking time to read Scripture and pray don’t feel like a chore, but an outpouring of the love and joy I have in relationship to God. When I reflect on that it seems to me that the reason is that when I express love in service I feel better about myself. I love myself. I feel like I have a purpose.
Love God. Love neighbor. Love self….. this is a love circle that goes round and round and keeps building layers of love. This is about the spirituality of love, which leads to joy, which leads to a greater love. It just doesn’t get better than that.