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Love brings peace into the new year

January 19, 2009

by Pastor Orval Wirkkala, Apostolic Lutheran Church, Kingston

Jeremiah 31:3: “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, ‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.’”

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

John 12:32: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

A number of months back, my wife and I were sitting and listening to a song that was being sung at a wedding. As we sat there listening, I was watching the young bride, who kept glancing up at her husband-to-be, seemingly hoping to catch his eye so that she could shower her love to him through her eyes and expression, as well as receive his adoration in like manner.

She did this a number of times, in the hope that their eyes would make contact. He was intent on listening to the song, but then he turned to look into her eyes.

I could not see his face, but I could see hers. The expression of love for him, as well as the apparent reciprocation of love from him put a look on her face that, to me, was indescribable and, after observing this for a few seconds, I looked away. The moment was too personal and too holy for me to look upon. Oh, the mystery of the drawing power of love!

As we leave the special time of the celebration of Love (Jesus) coming down to us to be with us, and as we say goodbye to 2008, we await all that is in store for us in the new year of 2009. We can be confident that the gracious and drawing eyes of the Lord are upon us, and He awaits our acknowledging of His Presence through our turning to Him in repentance and in faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

For it is through the receiving and giving of love that there will be “peace on earth and good will toward men.” When we receive and experience the love of God in Christ, that love which constrained Him to give His life for our life, we can do no other than to love Him, as well as one another, including all mankind.

May we not spurn His face that seeks our response, to the end that we may live in a restored relationship with Him for all eternity, and that we will live in peace with our neighbor here in time.

Have a blessed new year.