CREED OF CHRISTIAN LOVE IN CHRIST
Faith issues in love. Love is not a belief system. Love does not mean agreeing with everything someone else thinks. Love prevails as the only precept. Love rises above conflict, extends the hand of peace, even the peace to differ. Love bears the fruits of the kingdom. Love does not require another to be like you. But love respects differences, respects all people as children of God, all searching, all erring. Love exists within humility and humanity. Love cares for others, even if others do not care. Love does not throw stones. Nor make demands. And especially not the demand for uniformity. But love celebrates divides and draws strings across canyons. Love extends hands that touch hearts, because Love is greater than opinions, dictums, and legalisms. Love does not seek to extinguish individualism but celebrates community, invites and builds relationships even when each wears different shoes and walks different talks. Love sings a tune of hope and invites a symphony of diverse voices, not demanding the same notes, the same song, the same way, but sings together with others. Love maintains identity while rejoicing in human relationship with all people. Love God and neighbor. Love God first. Love to give your neighbor even better than what you would love for yourself. Love your neighbor because your neighbor is human like you. Humanity has no sides. Love takes no sides. But only affirms and recognizes its neighbor in flesh and blood. The blood of humanity is thicker than the waters of contention, and we all share blood. Love is not an ideology or a standard, not an expectation or demand. Love does not seek justice and is not dependent on fairness, but transcends both of these. For Christian life is not fair, but is committed to the gifts of love and mercy. Love is merciful. Love lets go of control, power, and the desire to mete out punishments. Love respects that God is the only justice. And that God’s justice is cloaked in mercy. Love desires not to serve in the place of God, but steps aside to allow Christ to lead. Love does not need idols. But serves only in the name of the one who is Love. Love God. Love neighbor. Love in faith that the Love of Christ is more powerful than being right. That love is more powerful than being wrong. Only Love wins. Love in faith. Just love.
I pray that I may live to fish
Until my dying day.
And when it comes to my last cast,
I then most humbly pray:
When in the Lord’s great landing net
And peacefully asleep
That in His mercy I be judged
Big enough to keep.
We ask you, Master, be our helper and defender. Rescue
those of our number in distress; raise up the fallen; assist the needy;
heal the sick; turn back those of your people who stray; feed the
hungry; release our captives; revive the weak; encourage those who lose
heart. Let all the nations realize that you are the only God, that Jesus
Christ is your Child, and that we are your people and the sheep of your
–1 Clement (96)
We pray for an authentic faith –one that lifts our hearts to you, opens our minds, and reveals our innermost feelings and faults. We pray that we are not merely creatures of habit or rote, repeating words that have no meaning in our hearts and lives, that our prayers are not tasks, but cries of our soul. For we need you Lord. We need you from the depths of our being. We thirst for meaning only to be found in faith. We thirst for a truth, only to be found in Jesus.
Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of thy brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom.
All our desire is known unto thee,
therefore perfect what thou hast begun,
and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek thy face,
turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.
O merciful God,
whatever You may deny me,
do not deny me this love.
Save me from the idolatry of loving the world,
or any of the things of the world.
Let me never love any creature
but for Your sake and in subordination to Your love.
Take full possession of my heart;
raise there Your throne
and command there as You do in heaven.
Being created by You, let me live to You;
being created for You,
let me ever act for Your glory;
being redeemed by You,
let me render to You what is Yours
and let my spirit ever cleave to You alone.
– John Wesley