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Blackcurrant

The Fruit of Love

Scripture Readings

John 15:5

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything.[1]

John 15:9

“As the Father loved me, I too have loved you. Remain in my love. [2]

1 John 4:15-6

15 If any of us confess that Jesus is God’s Son, God remains in us and we remain in God. 16 We have known and have believed the love that God has for us. 

God is love, and those who remain in love remain in God and God remains in them. [3]

Reflections

Greg Boyd writes this in Repenting of Religion:

… we were created for unbroken, loving fellowship with God. God’s goal for creation is to have his perfect, triune love displayed to us, in us, and through us. God seeks to be glorified—his triune love expanded and displayed—by how God relates to us, how we relate to God, how we relate to ourselves, and how we relate to others. As we abide in God and God abides in us, we are to participate in the unsurpassable, loving nature of the triune God and love ourselves and our neighbors in the process of loving God, just as God loves us and our neighbors in the process of loving himself. The goal is for humanity to dance with and in the triune God.

Sin ruptured this fellowship and sidetracked the plan. It was restored in Christ, however, and the purpose of the church now is to reexpress the original goal of creation by living it before the world. As the church replicates God’s unsurpassable and unconditional triune love within itself and to all others, the world comes to believe that Jesus has been sent by the Father. They come to know that the fellowship has been restored because they see it! God is glorified.[4]

And this:

The point of these teachings is that we know we are participating in the love of God because we are in fact loved and love others with the love that God is. The love of God is not merely a theoretical belief we entertain, nor is it a fiction God entertains about us. It is a reality. We are in fact in Christ and therefore are recipients and participants of the perfect love of the triune fellowship. As we “abide in love” we “abide in God” and “God abides in [us]” (1 John 4:16). God lives in us, not theoretically but really. Because it is real, it is something that can and should be experienced and witnessed.[5]

Action

Paul writes to the Romans (5:5):

This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. [6]

Simply pray, “Come, Holy Spirit” and then listen to the following by the late Brennan Manning:

Worship…

Prayer

Prayer of Thanksgiving: For Love
(inspired by 1 John 4:18 and similar passages)

Let us give thanks for the remarkable gifts
of God’s creating and redeeming love,
the loving that casts out all fear.

For the love that frees us to ask questions and explore,
to frame doubts and investigate new possibilities,
to build theories and then cross-examine them.
We thank you, God of adventurous love.

For the love that enables us to marvel at our own existence,
to ponder and remember,
recognize our own needs
and affirm our own knowledge and purpose.
We thank you, God of determined love.

For the love that helps us to communicate with one another,
to express trust and respect,
share heartaches and visions,
to convey love and mercy.
We thank you, God of reconciling love.

For the love that inspires us to warmly encourage those around us,
to affirm and build up, comfort and enlighten.
We thank you, God of nurturing love.

For the love that liberates us to celebrate the world around us
in poetry and song,
to delight in shapes and colours, intricacies and patterns,
awesome forces and deep mysteries.
We thank you God of visionary love.

For the love that encourages us to express something of our faith;
for creeds and prayers, hymns and readings,
discussion groups and sermons.
We thank you, God of creative love.

Above all else we thank you
for the love that allows us to admit
that we have no words in which to adequately describe
the process of faith in Christ,
the awesome worship of our God,
and the holy wonder of the Spirit.
We thank you for that point where
our love becomes wordless adoration.
Through Christ Jesus,
who is the pure glory of your loving. Amen!

~ written by Bruce Prewer

 

[1] Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), Jn 15:5.

[2] Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), Jn 15:9.

[3] Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), 1 Jn 4:15–16.

[4] Boyd, Gregory A.. Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God (p. 66). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

[5] Boyd, Gregory A.. Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God (pp. 50-51). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

[6] Common English Bible (Nashville, TN: Common English Bible, 2011), Ro 5:5.

Reagan Waggoner - March 21, 2021

Jesus and Fruit

Scripture References: John 15:1-11

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