Greetings, Sisters and Brothers of the Heart!
Here we are, already into the second month of a new decade, it’s February, and I salute you in “the Name of Love”. I do so because I believe that most agree that love is essential and important and in a perfect world diversity counts and respect ought to be common in community. Community is, after all, the core of everything by which love should always be the place to begin and end in sustaining it. Even more, I dare suggest that there exists an expectation that people typically shoved to societal margins be carriers of the “Divine Valentine” to the world with a message of love.
“Divine Valentine” derives from the accumulated successes consistently earned by those determined to demonstrate that neither religious authorities nor governments have ever succeeded in legislating with whom people fall in love with and marry. It pays tribute to the efforts of Valentine’s soldiers thousands of years ago; blacks and whites fifty years ago; and gays and lesbians as recent 2015. Additionally, given the misguided information and false assumptions about love and the nature of Love continually taught and communicated to us from childhood into adulthood, it’s crucial that we remember, “Love will always win” against adversity.
Unfortunately, Love is frequently turned on as a reward or turned off as a punishment; used as a lure for bait and switch; and everything in between that doesn’t spring with generosity from the heart. Therefore, as I fondly do in the month typically focused on both the heart and love, I offer this:
“ . . . May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love, and may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love really is.” (Ephesians 3:17-18/NLT).
Finally, speaking of love and community, we here at Long Island Community Fellowship (LICF) are celebrating our Eighteenth Anniversary – “coming of age” some might say. LICF was born out of a love for those who need a place to hear ALL OF THE TIME that that “God loves you just as you are”; it is sustained on the principle that “nothing can separate you from the love of God”; and LICF will continue to thrive and grow by the “light of God’s love”. This Love will not give up no matter what we face, no matter the obstacles in our path, no matter what those around us might be saying, love will not give up because are “ordained” carriers of the “Divine Valentine” to the world with a message of love!”
Yours in love…. Reverend Gale Jones, Senior Pastor