Developing Your Spiritual Core - THE BASICS

Developing Your Spiritual Core - THE BASICS

Loving God—Part Two

“We love because God first loved us.” 1 John 4: 19

Last week I offered the idea that God loves us deeply and in fact is the source of love. In response, we are to love God with every part of our being, with all our “heart, soul, strength and mind”. How do we even begin to love God so totally?

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism (one of the traditions that started the United Church of Canada) talked about how people experience and understand God in four main ways.

One way is through experience. An example of this might be an unexplainable moment of profound beauty or joy. Another is through reason. We have the ability to understand a great deal about the intricacy and complexity of our world. A third way is tradition. There are customs that, even after many centuries, continue to be deeply meaningful to people. Finally there is scripture. Consider the idea that we can learn about God by reading the Bible. From a faith perspective God is both the source and object of each of these ways.

In order to love God as fully as possible, Wesley reminds us that we are invited to be open to God through our emotions, our intellect, our sense of ritual and through scripture. If we can allow ourselves to believe that God loves us completely, then we can also allow ourselves to grow in our ability to more completely love God.

Next Week: Love Yourself!
- Rev. Dirk Jessen