Our desire and ability to worship is rooted in love. Our love for God and our love for others overflows from God’s love for us… that is the First Love.
First love is an unconditional love. A love that is not based on who we are or what we do but on who God is and what He has done. We are not only un-deserving but ill-deserving of His love. We are His enemies… but still, He has loved us FIRST!
READ: John 18:38 – 20:18
Beautiful Scandalous Night - Lyrics
Go on up to the mountain of mercy
To the crimson perpetual tide
Kneel down on the shore
Be thirsty no more
Go under and be purified
Follow Christ to the holy mountain
Sinner sorry and wrecked by the fall
Cleanse your heart and your soul
In the fountain that flows
For you and for me and for all
At the wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
On that beautiful, scandalous night you and me
Were atoned by His blood and forever washed white
On that beautiful, scandalous night
On the hillside, you will be delivered
At the foot of the cross justified
And your spirit restored
By the river that pours
From our blessed Savior's side
In the midst of teaching, Jesus allows children to approach…
13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
Following Jesus is like being a little child – with no power, no position, nothing to show or be proud of. They had nothing to offer Jesus. Jesus simply wanted to love them.
This is difficult for us because we live and operate by trying to deserve the love God offers. But first love is the love of the cross. We have done nothing. We have earned nothing. We have nothing to offer God that that would cause Him to love us accordingly. The exact opposite is true… and so Jesus went to the cross. God loved us first!
First love is what causes us to love others. Your love for the campers must flow from this first love. Uniquely though, the campers you serve here at Arrowhead will lead you to this first love… if you allow them. Their purity and vulnerability, their peace and humility, their desire to freely give and receive love is an open invitation to experience God’s love for you as you love them. This love from our campers is a gift.
In our campers, most people will see a disabled person who is a burden to their family, to their community and to the world. If not for God’s love you might see them that way too. To do so, is to hide the truth… the truth that our campers are a gift and the gift not received, is the gift not given.
Like our campers, like little children, we must hear and listen to that quiet loving voice that says, “I love you whether you are rich or poor, whether you are married or not, whether you are handsome or unattractive, whether you are successful or not. No matter what… I love you!” (Day Break 194-195).
Our Prayer: May Arrowhead by a place where the first love of God is revealed to people anxious to prove they deserve love.