Love Is All Your Need
The theme for the 2014 Aspire Weekend, held in beautiful Malvern, is Aspire2Love. In a nutshell, this is the message of the Bible. Love is, after all, the greatest gift. Life is all about love.
A well known song once asked the question “What’s love got to do with it?” For a Christian, love has a lot to do with everything. After all, Jesus said “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbour as yourself”. In other words we’re to aspire to love.
That same song asks another question “Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?”
A group of women from our Church encounter women with broken hearts every single week as they reach out to sex workers on the street. I suspect if you asked those sex workers “what’s love got to do with what you’re doing” they might answer “not a lot”. In the world they inhabit love seems pretty sparse on the ground. But the actions of this small group of women are counteracting that. Walking the streets in the early hours, sharing hot drinks and chocolate, taking time to engage with women and build relationships week by week, year after year goes a long way to answering that question; “what’s love got to do with it?”
If we’re really serious about loving God then a good place to begin is with people; all people, everywhere, including those with broken hearts.
Luke 7:36-50 tells the story of a woman who was a lot like those encountered on the streets every Friday night.
Luke describes her as a sinner which was probably a polite way of saying sex worker. Her joining the dinner party at which Jesus was a guest, without an invitation, certainly took a lot of courage and didn’t go down well with the other guests. She was left in no doubt that everyone knew exactly who she was and what she did. But then so did Jesus.
What I like about this woman is that she really doesn’t care what others think of her. Uninvited and unwelcome, nevertheless she had a plan. No doubt conscious of the stares, whispers and nudges she approached Jesus. Falling at His feet, she poured out a bottle of perfume and began to anoint His feet as her tears fell.
She’s pretty confident, confident enough to untie her hair which was so not the done thing but she just doesn’t care!
On the other hand the party host, Simon, cares very much. He is not a happy man, but before we get too harsh with him it’s worth considering how we might feel if our special event was gate crashed.
Perhaps it would have been ok if she had just sat quietly at the back but this woman not only took centre stage she commandeered the whole event!
I reckon it was not so much about her knowing who she was but more about knowing who Jesus was. She knew He loved her. And that was enough to release her from the opinions of others.
How much time do we waste seeking the approval of others? How many plans are discarded for fear of what others might think? How many ideas never get off the ground for fear of what others might say?
She was confident that what she had planned would bless Jesus because it was all to do with love. She could aspire to love because she had received love.
Gals 5:6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
That night the atmosphere in Simon’s house changed. That night Simon received a hands on lesson on love but he just couldn’t get beyond who this woman was. Simon focused on her past whereas Jesus saw her future. That night, as she anointed God’s Son, everyone got a taste of just how effective people can be when they know they are loved.
If we want to bring change to the atmosphere in our work places, in our homes, our communities, amongst our networks then why not plan to do something positive in Jesus’ name?
Why not aspire to show your love for Jesus by doing something for someone, somewhere, however small. Take a risk, pour something into someone’s life and let the change begin!