Clutching a couple of dandelions in his chubby fist, the toddler came in from the backyard, held the dandelions up to his mother and told her “I love you.” Tears came to her eyes as she scooped up her son and hugged him for a long time until she could finally say thank you and let him return to the backyard for more adventures.

Love, innocent love, holy love, unselfish love, coming as close as humanly possible to the love of God.
As we grew up, we still spoke the words of love but soon we learned that the words of love can be used as a weapon. We say we love one another but our intention is not simply to give what will make the loved one happy. Sadly our intention is to receive something in exchange for the love that we offer.

The word of God corrects us and steers us back to the innocent love that is given only to make somebody happy.
1 John 4:10: “This is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and gave His Son to be the propitiation for our sins and for the sins of the world.”

Propitiation means to make satisfaction for. To atone for the sins of all people, the justice of the eternal, unchangeable God demanded that every sinner should suffer the eternal punishment of hell.

The love of God moved him to give His Son to suffer that punishment in the place of every person. That is what God did, giving Him to die on the cross without expecting anything in return.

This is the nature of our God who created a perfect world and turned it over to Adam and Eve because He loved them. There was no long list of things they needed to do to please Him. The intention of the only command that He gave to them was that they might continue in the love and receive all that the love could offer them. That is the love that we see shining so
clearly in Easter.

The only command that God gives to us is that we believe in His Son because by believing in Jesus, we have life with God now and forever.

His love for us makes it possible for us to love one another with a holy love, freed from selfishness, able to love and to do what is good without expecting anything in return.

In the love of God,
Elmer Schiefer, Pastor

Elmer Schiefer
Pastor, Family of Christ Lutheran Church