What an absurd title – “Remember to Love”. “Of course, we remember to love, we don’t need to be reminded,” we say to ourselves. We’ve got this one down.
Yet, we hear Moses proclaim the words of the Lord in Deuteronomy (6:5-6) “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Keeping these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.” He goes on, telling them to recite them to their children, and talk to them about it all day long. Write this on your door post so you don’t forget. Fix them on your forehead, bind them on your hand. In other words, use every method possible to remember to love.
Sometimes it seems that love is the hardest thing. Humans have a long history of falling short on the love scale. Moses is raising this before the people to remind them that there is only one God. Even back then, a person was barraged with temptations to worship other gods and forget the God of Israel. So, Moses commands them to remember who your God is and who you are. Write it in your heart, on your doorpost, on your hand and forehead. Write it where ever you need to so you don’t forget.
Today, love remains the hardest thing. If we love God, then we love our neighbor. Brian McLaren in his book, “The Great Spiritual Migration” writes that no matter what our image of God is, we will be transformed by that image. We reflect the image of the God that we want to become. If our concept of God is nonviolent, then we will be transformed into that nonviolent image. The same will happen if our concept of God is a violent God.
McLaren believes that God is love because it is the most prominent image of God throughout the Bible. He says that if this is true, he must pull the “genocide card” from his spiritual wallet and cut it to pieces. The “genocide card” is any image of God that holds up the notion that God will destroy us, or you, if you make God angry or disagree with me. Love and destruction don’t go together. If God is love, McLaren says he must give up the prejudice or privilege card that says I’m better than anyone else because God said so. A God of love discredits any sense of privilege and entitlement. I certainly agree with him. For me, God is love. The beliefs of our congregation attest to a God of love.
Remember to love. We know God in Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, who shows love to the outcast, the sick, the poor, those who have lost their way. Jesus pours out love to those who ask for forgiveness and those who don’t. Jesus ultimately gave his life in love for each person in this world and all of creation. This is the image that we reflect when we follow Jesus and remember to love.
We are amid our stewardship campaign. You are being asked to remember to love with your financial commitment. Remember to love those who come to worship as we provide the un-glamorous things like the lights, heat and air conditioning bills need to be paid each month. Remember to love with your money as we grow in faith through small groups, adult learning, church school, youth group, affirmation of baptism classes and nursery care. Remember to love as you give so we can support those called into Word & Sacrament ministry and Word & Service ministries. We are a congregation that is gifted in nurturing future church leaders. Remember to love as we reach out to our community and the world with the love of Jesus.
Your love is a blessing to Holy Trinity to the Church at large and to the world. God is at work in each of you. Thank you for being the image of God in your commitment to remember to love as you make your financial commitment. Thank you for remembering to love and giving all in love.
Pastor Pam Schroeder
References: McLaren, B. D. (2016). The Great Spiritual Migration. New York: Convergent Books.