God loves you. That’s it. That is really all I have to say to you. God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it. No. Matter. What. God loves you.
I wonder if some of you are thinking, “Yeah, so? I know God loves me. What’s the big deal? Aren’t you going to say something more profound than that? Aren’t you going to try to sell us on the many programs and opportunities for getting involved at the church? Aren’t you going to tell us what is right or wrong or what we should be doing with our lives?” Or, perhaps some of you are thinking, “No. There is no way God loves me. You say that but how can that be true when there are so many people in this world, when I’ve done the things I’ve done? How can God love me?”
I have heard from too many people that they were never told by their ministers, their teachers, or even their parents that God loves them. They were taught that God is out there, watching over them, but not that God is loving them too. These are not people who are unchurched. In fact, I most often hear this from people who grew up in the church, in the very community that is not only supposed to tell us that God loves us but that is supposed to show us how very loved we are! So that is what I want you, my sisters and brothers, to hear. You are loved. You are so, so, so very loved that God chooses you – every single minute of every single day.
Presbyterian theology tells us that we do not choose God but that God chooses us. THAT is GOOD NEWS! That is THE Good News. We are loved by our God and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
Where else in the world do we hear that message? Where else do our children hear that message? It is our privilege as followers of Jesus to tell people they are loved! We get to shout it from the rooftops, we get to whisper it in baby’s ears, we get to look each other in the eye and say it matter of factly, “God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it.”
So, we are going to start doing that, right here, in church, we will share the love of God with one another. We will look our sisters and brothers in the eye and give them this gentle reminder, “You are loved by God and there is nothing you can do about it.”
It may make you uncomfortable. You may not like it. I may find many of you lined up at my office door to tell me how much you can’t stand it. But I guarantee that one Sunday morning someone will look you in the eye and they will say to you, “God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it,” and those words of your sister or brother will break your heart wide open and you will know it is true. Those words will bury themselves within you and become part of you. Those words will become part of us.
And then, as those words sink into us, as they begin to mold our hearts and our minds so that we start trusting them, we will start living them. Sharing our time, our energy, our resources, our lives. Making it our business to not just tell but to show the people of the town of Oceanside and the world that THEY ARE LOVED.
My friends, God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it!
My prayer is that you know this. My hope is that you live it.