Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Carthage, Missouri

  1. Home
  2. About Good Shepherd
  3. Calendar
  4. Blog
  5. Pictures

Sermon Audio — February 18, 2018

Sacrificial Love

Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

This year we have the interesting development of Valentine’s Day falling on Ash Wednesday. Lent begins on a day when we would normally not be thinking somber Lenten thoughts. Valentine’s Day is usually thought of as a happy time where we think about those we love and what they mean to us. This is a different kind of feeling than the one typically evoked by Ash Wednesday where we go to church to have the pastor put ashes on our head in a sign of sorrow and contrition as he says, “Dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Yet, at the same time love is a broad thing. In English, we have just the one word. In Greek, the language of the New Testament, there are at least 3 words for love (some people add in a 4th). You feel a different kind of love in different kinds of relationships. You love your kids and your spouse and your friends and your Lord with slightly different forms of love. Keeping this in mind, are Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday completely opposite when it comes to the feelings they invoke? Not necessarily. There is a type of love that is sacrificial. Ash Wednesday opens Lent which prepares us to observe our Savior’s death. Why did He die? Because He loved us. “Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us.” It is this kind of love that all Christians are asked show to their neighbor. When Paul tells us to “Walk in Love” it is this kind of love that he has in mind.

Perhaps that is a thing we can consider this coming Lenten season. Christ’s call to love our neighbor includes not only the cheery more positive aspects of love that we are most inclined to think about, but also the somber notes that are struck when we think about giving something up for someone else. For we ourselves are recipients of this kind of love in the grandest of ways. When we think of love in the next couple of months it would be appropriate to remember that some love has a price. The best love has a price. For “Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us.” And through His love you are now God’s beloved child. How do you walk in this love?

~ Pastor Mehl

Services are cancelled for February 11

Services are cancelled for February 11 due to the inclement weather conditions.

Sermon Audio — February 4, 2018