Grace Communion Church – Real Friendship

The Statue of Liberty in New York City was presented to the US by France to mark the friendship of two nations. The iconic statue has become more than that. She has become a beacon of hope for all who desire to live in freedom and friendship.
Sadly, that is still a dream for most people. In this dog-eat-dog world of ours, relationships at all levels, international, local and personal, are often based on convenience and self-interest rather than genuine love. That is one reason why we appreciate our small denomination where we count among our close friends people from many different backgrounds and cultures.
Our church members stay around long after the formal part of services is over, they have genuine friendships. We shouldn’t underestimate the value of our relationships. The apostle John, above all the other writers of the Bible, tells us that within the oneness of God, there is a relationship. John explains the nature of God by teaching that God is love. Jesus explicitly told his disciples that those who have seen him have seen God. In other words, that Father and Son have a relationship that is so intimate—one in the other and vice versa. We share in this intimacy even though our limited human minds can’t fully comprehend it. As the apostle Paul reminds us, the mystery of godliness is great.
However, we can begin to appreciate this mystery as we learn to live the way of genuine, outgoing love. This is why Jesus said ”A new command I give you: Love one another.” Then he added, “Everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34, 35). The best beacon of hope is not a statue in New York harbour—however magnificent. It is men and women, from all nations and all walks of life, who strive to live their lives guided by the Holy Spirit to demonstrate genuine, unselfish and Christ-like love.
1 John 4:20-21 tells us, ”Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from Him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also”. When we realize the length and breadth of what this is saying, it is revolutionary. We should not allow familiarity with these words to blunt their impact.
Jesus embodied a love in his own life that does not follow the patterns of love as we might conceive them. Jesus brings together love with truth, love with repentance, love with acceptance and transformation, love with discipline yet exuberant generosity, love with unity and difference. Jesus links love with faith and hope in the living God. The love of God seen in Jesus is no ordinary or ideal form of love, but a particular love that transforms all other types of love.
If we Christians would more fully embrace this love and then share it with others, the world would truly see a new and revolutionary way …  the way of Jesus, its Lord and Saviour. Jesus did not say, “You will be known as my disciples because of the day you gather for worship,” -or- “Because of the name of your church,” -or- “Because you think you have figured out particular points of prophecy.” Rather, he said, ”Everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
PLEASE NOTE :- Because many in our congregation volunteer at a summer camp there will be no services on Saturday July 27th, August 3rd & 10th.  All are welcome any other Saturday.

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