February gives us an opportunity to explore the theme of Love. Not from a valentine perspective but love in its purest, highest form. A love described in the New Testament using the Greek word ‘agape’ - a selfless love, a love that is passionately committed to the well-being of others.
It is ‘agape’ love the Jesus calls us to exhibit in our daily lives, as Matthew’s Gospel reminds us..
- ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love (agape) your neighbour as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-38, NIV)
‘Agape’ is a love that cannot exist without action –
- My friends, what good is it for one of you to say that you have faith if your actions do not prove it? Can that faith save you? Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don't have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!”—if you don't give them the necessities of life? So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead. (James 2:14-17, GNT)
This month’s prayer activity acts us to reflect upon our expressions of love to our church, community, family and friends.
- Write on paper heart shapes (1 per heart) the ways in which you, your church, or your community show ‘agape’ love.
- How many can you identify?
- Place these on a wall, or string them together to make mobiles.
Use these statements during your prayer time as you consider the needs of the community and those that we support.