Summary: This one is about the agape, the awesome love of God that we all enjoy and share.
Dakota Community Church
February 17, 2008
Your Love is Amazing
In keeping with the season I thought I would make the topic of today’s sermon AMORE!
How many did something special this week because of the 14th of February?
How many really wish they had done something in spite of what they were told?
From “The Times” (On-Line):
Saint Valentine was a martyr — one who endured great suffering — and, for the more cynical among us, that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about.
According to History.com, Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.
When Emperor Claudius II [The Cruel] decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
According to another legend, Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting. While in prison, it’s believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it’s alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed “From your Valentine”, an expression that is still in use today.
A few Valentine Traditions:
In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favourite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
In some countries, a young woman may receive a gift of clothing from a young man. If she keeps the gift, it means she will marry him.
Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day; it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.
A love seat is a wide chair. It was first made to seat one woman and her wide dress. Later, the love seat or courting seat had two sections, often in an S-shape. In this way, a couple could sit together -- but not too closely!
Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.
Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.
I want to preface my remarks today by saying that romantic love is wonderful, for many of us it seems so central to our happiness in life that we feel compelled to pressure others into joining our state of bliss. This is not a God idea. We need to allow each other the grace and freedom to find and enjoy the life God has designed us for.
Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
This morning I want to focus on the love that relates to all of us reguardless of our mating status. Today I am talking about the God love, the agape love, the love that we partake in through Christ.
So what is love? What is this agape we hear so much about?
1. Is to know and to be known.
Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.
Is it not an awesome thing to be known of God?
When I am on the way home in the evening I often will stop in at Macs or 7eleven to pick up a Pepsi and a chocolate bar for Kathy. When I hand them to her she regularly says, “It is so good to be known.”