A Beautiful Life

Hello Church Family, this is Pastor Phil-

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 7:37-39

What matters most is who we’ve touched with love and who has touched us. 

When all is said and done, it is our relationships that matter the most.

There are two ways of living:

One is the age-old tragic story of a person who spends all of their time in achieving, whether that be professionally or financially. To achieve that success or simply to keep chasing after it when it always alludes them takes so much time and so much effort. There are sacrifices that are made to chase that dream. Family and friends are sacrificed, time with the people who love them is given away. The moments turn to years turn to decades and who knows whether the goals are met. Maybe success and lucrative finances are finally achieved, or maybe they remain that ever-elusive dream that never comes to fruition. That life is now coming to a close and all that is really wanted is a second chance for all of those lost moments to be with the people who aren’t with them anymore. They are left empty-handed at the end.

The other is also the age-old beautiful story of a person who spends all of their time in loving. They may still be successful financially and professionally, or not, but it in the end that doesn’t really matter. They find that way to live true to what matters most, that is, embracing the people in their lives and loving them deeply. This way of living also has sacrifices. Professionally and financially they may or may not have achieved all they could have achieved, but who cares. People aren’t always easy to love, but it is worth it in the end. Their time and energy and heart and desire are all truly spent loving the people in their life and building those relationships in deep and meaningful ways. The moments turn to years turn to decades and the people they love and are loved by are there with them. Some came and went; there are hello’s and goodbye’s, but the love is still there. That life is now coming to a close and all that is really wanted is the best for those people whose lives have been so interconnected to theirs. They are rich and fulfilled at the end. 

When all is said and done, it is our relationships that matter the most.

Unless someone is foolish and doesn’t learn from the lessons of the past, of these two ways of living, there is really only way to live—that is the life of loving deeply and building beautiful relationships. Because relationships and love are what make us rich and fulfilled in life. This is true, as well not only simply from practical experience, but because it is how our Heavenly Father created us to be. 

God, as he has revealed himself in Jesus and through His Spirit, has revealed to us the deepest of mysteries in all of creation. God is love.

God is love. 

I John 4:8

Love is only found in relationship because Love has a giver and a receiver. Because God is love (I John 4:8), then within who God is, is relationship: the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Love eternal, given from Father to Son to Spirit. Perfect and complete love is in the eternal nature of God. 

Because the heart of all of creation, the meaning of life, the center of all things, is God, and God is love, then the goal of fulfillment of we are who God’s creation and people is love. When we are sharing in that love with each other, giving and receiving, that is when life is at its most perfect and beautiful. We know this to be true. We’ve experienced it in our lives. We are our best and at our best when we are loving each other and being loved. When we are doing this, we are participating in the very nature of God and fulfilling the design of creation that God laid out for us. 

Because God is love, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, loves us and brings us into His love in a way that we couldn’t ever do for ourselves. God gives to us the gift of His Spirit inside of our hearts. The Holy Spirit of God that lives within us as Christians is the closest relationship we can ever have. Because, as close as we are with the people we love the most and hold the dearest, we are still separated by flesh and blood, thought and mind. The Holy Spirit of God comes to us, lives within us, and has relationship with our very spirits—the essence of who we are. We can never have this kind of relationship at the very core of our being with someone else, but God can and does have it with us. 

God’s Holy Spirit dwells in me, and you, and all of His children in faith. Which means, as God’s children—life or death, physical or spiritual—nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus (Romans 8:31-39) Because we are all connected by the Spirit of the Living God—life or death, physical or spiritual—nothing can separate us from each other because all of us are in the love of God in Jesus. Jesus brings us into the purest form of what it means to be part of this creation that God has made for us, because of His love for us. Jesus brings us into the eternal relationship of love that is God and we are connected to each other, eternally.

For all of this goodness done for us and knowing that the goal of creation is love and relationship we respond by learning to live in love for each other and for God. 

Why would we want any of the things of this world, whether money or possessions, petty jealousies or misunderstandings to get between us? What do those things matter; they will not last. Only the love of God in Jesus will last. 

That is why, when it is all said and done, it is the relationships in our life that matter the most.  

Published by philipmcclelland.org

​I am a recovering burned out workaholic​ who forgot I couldn't change the world. From the ashes of that not only have I found a peace from God that I never knew but a focus on what matters, God, family and loving my neighbor as God has loved me. My burning out experiences really drive my writing and how much I want to share all of the good God has worked through the hurt I've experienced. Currently I serve a great little parish in Northern Ohio with my wonderful family and our furry farm of five dogs, four cats and the oddball handful of fish. You can find me at www.philipmcclelland.org.

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