(File)

(File)

Minister’s Message: A third way of loving: Putting others’ needs before our own

As we prepare for Valentine’s Day, we may be thinking of the first two definitions for love.

  • Friday, February 7, 2020 12:10am
  • Life

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34ESV)

There are three Greek words used for love in the Bible: one is romantic love (root of the English word erotic), another is love for others (root of the English word charity), and the one most often used is a sacrificial love or giving of oneself for the needs of others (not the first thing that comes to mind when we think of love).

As we prepare for Valentine’s Day, we may be thinking of the first two definitions for love. Maybe we are missing out on the third definition in our relationships with our “valentines.” For the Greeks this was the greatest expression of love. It is also the most difficult. It is forgetting about ourselves and putting our loved one’s needs before our own. This really works! I am no expert at this, but I have been married for 33 years.

In our relationship with God the third definition for love is used exclusively. God loves us or puts our needs first.

We in turn put other’s needs before our own. The focus of worship is on Jesus and his expression of love for us on the cross. The arms open wide remind us of how much he loves us. The cross reminds us of how far God would go to show us He loves us. We receive God’s gifts to us in the mysteries of baptism and the Lords supper. We respond to God’s love songs and prayer.

We live out our faith as we forget about ourselves and serve others in our various callings in life (husband, wife, parent, employee, etc.) as we serve others and care for their needs.

I am truly blessed with a wife who has loved me for 33 years. I am also blessed to be loved by God and transformed by His love for me.

My prayer for you is that you may experience this love in your relationship with God and others in your life — especially your “valentine.”

Pastor Carlson grew up with 22 siblings in a log cabin in the backwoods of Alaska (120 miles from the Arctic Circle). He has served 23 years in the parish (five of those years were as a Navy/Marine chaplain). He is a Gulf War Veteran. He has served Funny River Community Lutheran Church since 2015. Sunday services are at 11 a.m., followed by a lunch that everyone is invited to. The church is located at 15 mile Funny River Road. (Take a right on Rabbit Run and go a ¼ mile to the church). The church website is www.funnyriverlutheran.org.

More in Life

Asian meatballs made by Teri Robl on March 23, 2020, in her Homer, Alaska, kitchen. (Photo by Teri Robl)
Kachemak Cuisine: During uncertain time, slow down and cherish good food

Join me in the kitchen, if only in spirit, and make a pot of soup from scratch.

Photo by Victoria Petersen
                                This “perfectly herby salad,” inspired by a recipe from New York Times food columnist Alison Roman, is the perfect antidote to a cold, snowy winter weather.
Kalifornsky Kitchen: A perfectly herby salad

A new column by reporter Victoria Petersen.

File
Minister’s Message: Practicing the right steps of presence

Instead of taking time to listen for God’s plan, I spun my mental wheels.

The secret ingredients in Teri Robl’s Oxtail Soup with Root Vegetables and Barley are beef oxtails, as seen here in a soup she made in her kitchen on March 10, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Teri Robl)
Kachemak Cuisine: Oxtails are the secret to rich beef stock

One of the best batches of beef barley soup I’ve made.

Cora Trowbridge stands by her art, “Behind the Mask,” on March 6, 2020, at the Disability Art Show at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Artists look at disability in Homer Council on the Arts show

Each artist includes a statement about their experience with disability.

Nick Varney
What’s next, ya ornery cuss?

Old Man Winter’s various personalities easily qualify as a layered howling mob of sociopaths.

File
Minister’s Message: Persevering through tough times with God’s love

What does the Bible say about how we are to react to troubles, hardship and bad news?

A collection of Deborah Poore’s paintings at Grace Ridge Brewery on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Homer, Alaska. “It’s an interesting hanging space there,” she said of the display area at the brewery. “You’re really presenting those pieces as a collage. You have to squish them together.” (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
In retirement, Deborah Poore returns to her art

“When I do my art, it’s a celebration of the things close to me that I love.”

Ann Berg
Pioneer Potluck: Old black stoves and wringer washing machines

The old farmhouse was cozy and warm in the kitchen with the big black cookstove in the corner.

Minister’s Message: Finding time

God’s word offers timely advice about time.

Kachemak Cuisine: Cold and snowy days offer perfect time to try new recipes

Recipes: Crisp Gnocchi and Brussels Sprouts in Brown Butter, Breakfast Slab Pie