Sunday , April 30 2017
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The Love Candle

The Love Candle:
I love the way God brings merging of events into my life.

I can’t say it’s Serendipity, because I know it’s a God thing.

Judy and I attended our Church Retreat this past weekend. The retreat was very spiritual, and rewarding, but there was one very special event that stood out to me. Judy led us in the singing of “They Can Tell We Are Christians by Our Love.” As we sung, we began to join hands to form a circle of love. This had a profound impact upon me, and on the way home, I did a lot of pondering. (I do a lot of this while Judy drives. I call it mental imaging. She calls it sleeping.)
Judy had already told me that she had volunteered us to light an advent candle during our service on Sunday, but I had not even looked at the reading to see which candle we were lighting. All Sunday morning I thought about love, and God really placed upon my heart some things I should say when I gave the Advent Prayer, but I wasn’t sure which candle I was lighting. So when I got to Church, and began to review our reading, I bet you can guess which candle we were to light.

Yep! The Love Candle.

The Bible tells us of three forms of Love.
Philos is the love you show to your family; your friends.
Ethos is the passionate and intimate love shown between husband and wife.
But Agape, that is Christian love. It is an unconditional love that transcends all flaws, all weaknesses. It is the love that you show when you really want to chew someone out, or maybe even strike them. It is the love that would lead you to sacrifice your life for someone that isn’t even a family member.

But if my love is the evidence of me being seen as a Christian,
would there be enough witnesses to convict me in a court of law?

Sure, it’s easy to love my family. Even though each member has their own unique flaw.
It’s easy to love my friends. Even though they can be a challenge at times.
It’s easy to love my Church family. Although some of them surely needs a lot of praying for.

But what if someone saw how I reacted to that young, un-married mother sitting in McDonalds who is having a difficult time controlling her three rowdy, unkempt children?
Or to the homeless person in line at McDonalds, as he counted out nickels and dimes hoping to have enough to buy a cup of coffee to warm him up? After-all he smelled!
Or what about that girl in the elevator, with at least a dozen piercings in places I never knew you could pierce? Or the young man, covered with tattoos?
Or what about that person who lives an alternative life style that is so alien to my beliefs?

So I gave a simple Love Candle prayer.
Lord, help me show Agape Love to all that I meet, regardless of how difficult it might be,
in the hopes that one day someone will walk up to me and say,
You must be a Christian.

What better time to show love, true Christian Love, than during this Christmas season.

I hope God richly blesses your life during this joyous Holiday.

About Jerry Haynes

OK, where do I start. I was born…., no that line has already been taken.Call me…, oops so has that one. Well, I won’t attempt to spout musical prose, and just be myself. I grew up in the small cotton mill town of Fries, VA. My parents were hardworking members of the middle class. They never earned more than a little over minimum wage, but I can never remember lacking for anything. After graduating from Fries High School in 1969, I started to VA Tech. After two years of partying (1st), going to movies (2nd), and studying, well, much further down the list, VA Tech decided I need a two year break to get my priorities straight. With a number 8 in the draft lottery, I knew that even if the Hokies didn’t want me, Uncle Sam did. I joined the US Navy. I got my priorities straight. I’m proud to be a Viet Nam veteran, but feel guilty I never got deployed. I graduated from Tech in 1977 with a BS in Civil Engineering. For the next 35 years I would work in both the private and public sectors. My first job took me to Tazewell County, Virginia where I soon joined the Jaycees. This ignited my passion for individual development. This passion still burns today.

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