3/29/20 – “Cleaning Up Our Spiritual Rooms: The Bathroom – What Do We See When We Look in the Mirror?”

Posted on : Mar 25th, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

This Sunday is the 5th Sunday in Lent. As a reminder, the season of Lent runs from Ash Wednesday (Feb. 26) through Holy Saturday (Apr. 11) which is the day before Easter Sunday (Apr. 12).

We continue our Lenten series “Cleaning Up Our Spiritual Rooms” this week as we look at the bathroom. This room is probably the most private room in our house and one where we like to be alone when in there. It’s the room where we focus on ourselves: we clean and groom ourselves, we spend time getting ready for the day or preparing for bed at night. It may be the one room in our home where we look at ourselves in the mirror.

The question for today is “What do we see when we look in the mirror?” Do we look at ourselves and say “Wow! Really looking good!” or do we sigh and say “It’ll have to do”. Maybe some of us try to avoid looking in the mirror at all as it’s just too painful to see our own reflection. I imagine there are some people who think more highly of themselves than they should but I think most of us don’t fall into that category.

So, how should we think of ourselves? Can we say we love ourselves? The scripture readings from the gospel of Mark and the 1st Letter of John are clear that we are to love ourselves because God first loved us. In fact, we are unable to love others if we do not love ourselves first. But that love for ourselves is not a prideful or selfish love. It is an understanding that we are able to love others because we realize that we are loved creatures of God. If we understand that we are loveable then we have room to show love to others. This is a lesson that is repeated throughout scripture and one that we hear over and over again. We can love others because God first loved us. It is the lesson we first heard as children and sang it in Sunday School “Jesus loves me this I know. For the Bible tells me so.”

There is a famous story that after a lecture in Rockefeller Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago, during the Q & A time, a student asked the great 20th Century Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, if he could summarize his theology in a single sentence. As the story goes, Barth responded by saying, “In the words of a song I learned at my mother’s knee: ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.'” This is perhaps the most profound truth we can take from scripture that God loves us and sent Jesus to be among us and to show us the way to love. This Sunday we will explore further what it means to love ourselves, how we can embrace the truth that God loves us, and how should we show that love to others. Please join us for Online Worship at 11:00.

 

Mark 12:30-31

you shall love your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

1 John 4:10-20

In this is love, not that we loved God but that God loved us and sent Christ to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and God’s love is perfected in us.
By this we know that we abide in God and God in us, because we have been given the Holy Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that God has sent Jesus as the Savior of the world.  God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God.  So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.  Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as God is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.  We love because God first loved 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.

 

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