We begin the month of May with two lessons on love. This Sunday’s message from 1 John 4:7-21 is the starting point, and the children’s message will explore not only what love is and where it comes from, but also what love looks like, how we know we are loved, and how we learn to love.
As this week’s passage tells us, “love comes from God.” (v. 7) But even more than that, John says “God is Love” (v.8)—a “startling claim,” according to Presbyterian pastor Amy Fiet, at least for first-century Jews who (as we can see from Scripture) seemed to be “far more comfortable talking about what God is like”—in metaphor (e.g., a shepherd, a strong tower, a mother-hen, etc.)—than trying to “say with certainty who God is.”
Yet, in some ways, I suppose this statement may seem profound to us as well. After all, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with weak concepts of love: where we talk about loving certain kinds of food, or sports, or books or movies, and where we equate love with something that makes us feel a certain way—like happy or sappy.
The truth, however, is that these three words are so much more. They are unexpected hope and the beginning point of salvation. God loves us with “A Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love*” that is part of who we are. Made in the image of God, we are made in the image of love—created to be loved and not only to love God but also to love others—participating in God’s love as we follow his command to love one another.
“We love because God first loved us” (v.19) and in so doing “God lives in us and his love is made complete.” (v. 12)
*Don’t you just love this description of God’s love taken from The Jesus Storybook Bible? It’s so over-the-top—which is exactly how I imagine God’s love to be! “Reckless”—much like Cory Asbury’s song, “Reckless Love,” which I encourage you to check out: https://video.link/w/Vbhqc. Hear the story behind the song here: https://video.link/w/7Ygqc
Here are some resources to help your family in worshipping today:
The Children’s Message for May 2nd, 2021 will be livestreamed as part of Hope Valley Baptist’s Worship Service for May 2, 2021 on the HVBC YouTube Channel and the HVBC website. The livestream will begin at 10:50am. You will also be able to view a recording of the livestream after the conclusion of the service on the church’s YouTube Channel or website.
An additional activity entitled “Sending Love” for you to fill out and share (via mail or perhaps hand-delivery) with someone this week.