HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
January 29, 2007, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Love is more than a feeling

Rev. Eric Nelson, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie

Bouquets filled with a variety of flowers will be given. Cards with shapes of hearts will be sent. Sentiments of love will be shared. But what does love really mean?

Love is a popular topic for poets and songs. Yet despite such lyrical attempts to capture a meaning, it remains misunderstood.

One reason for this misunderstanding is that love is often associated with a feeling. For many, love is what makes us weak in the knees. It causes our hearts to race. It puts a song in our spirit.

This feeling of elation and rapture makes the sun seem brighter, the birds more melodious, and the day more cheerful.

Unfortunately, feelings have a transient quality. In other words, they do not last. Therefore, the true and lasing love that we attempt to convey by means of cards and flowers must be something else.

Another common misunderstanding states that love is about what we receive. She loves him because he makes her laugh. He loves her because she helps him grow as a person. They love one another because their relationship brings happiness and fulfillment in their lives.

As a result, they no longer feel lonely. This is not necessarily bad. But is this the best definition of love? Is it about what we get out of it?

Jesus shows us what love really is. It is about sacrifice. As he informed his disciples, no one has greater love than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

Jesus laid down his life for you. He was willing to endure the pain, agony, and humiliation of a crucifixion so that you would have forgiveness and eternal life. He shed his blood so that you will not face judgment and condemnation. You will not find greater love than that.

Thus, someone does love you. Jesus did not reveal his love for you by means of a card or a bouquet of flowers. He revealed his love by means of a cross.

He died for your sins and rose again on the third day so that you would be his own. By this sacrifice, he truly shows what love is about!

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