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2/23 - Love Is the Answer

. Posted in 2013 Lenten Readings

I always thank God when I pray for you, Philemon, because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love of all God’s people. [Philemon 1: 4-5]

This is a verse I used to open our annual congregation meeting and I really think Paul could have said these same words to Immanuel.

This letter was written to Philemon on behalf of a runaway slave, Onesimus. Paul encouraged Philemon to go beyond the traditional master-slave relationship by welcoming Onesimus back as a beloved brother in Christ.

I think Immanuel in many ways has shown this same spirit of welcoming brothers in Christ and thinking beyond our traditional ways. The early Christians didn’t gather people and start by telling them what they believed. They would welcome all people in and get them involved in the good works they were doing (setting the example) and then tell them what they believed and why they were doing what they were doing. I hope we can continue this “all are welcome” attitude and trust that the Spirit will move people as God wills.

I pray that God will continue to fill the people of Immanuel with a loving spirit and give us the strength and desire to continue all the good things we are doing in the community. I pray that as the world around us changes we can look forward in love to understand how you Lord want us to change.

Submitted by Dave Farabaugh