July 06, 2011

Vegetable Love

1 John 4:7-21

We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19


“Love comes from God.” “God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” See the connection? God, love. God, love.

God’s people, the church, are filled with Christ and shaped by his Spirit to teach this connection to the world. It isn’t enough for the church only to teach the connection between God and truth. Truth without love is cold. The church has a complementary calling: To make clear to the world the connection between God and love. In doing so, we help those around us to see how love and grace infuse the truth of the good news of Jesus.

A couple of years ago some folks at our church decided to do that through a community garden. Armed with donated manure, seeds, and fertilizer, they dug up a huge section of the church’s backyard and turned it into a vegetable garden. Later they invited everyone in our church and neighborhood to help tend the garden and then harvest all the ripe veggies they wanted. I saw many neighborhood people walk into our garden with empty plastic bags and walk out with full ones. No charge. It was our church showing God’s love—as the signs around the garden made clear.

God, love. God, love. There are lots of ways to say it.

You’ve spoken “love” to us through Christ, dear God. Thank you! May our deeds and our words say the same to others. We pray this for the sake of the world and in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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