Sharing Our Faith Together

A Methodist Way of Life - Commitment 10:  We will speak of the love of God

by Rev Jacky Quarmby 8 July 2022

Reading:  Psalm 103

In this lovely Psalm attributed to King David, David expresses his love for a God who is both righteous and merciful, full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in love.  It is clear from this psalm and many others, how much God is loved by those who have written the psalms.  Praise and worship pour forth onto the page, extolling God’s faithfulness, mercy, justice and might.  It is as if they don’t just love God, but they are “in love” with God.

If we think back to those times when we have fallen in love - we can’t help talking about the person, we can’t help saying how wonderful they are and telling everyone how much they love us and care about us.  And so it is with the writers of the psalms.  In some sense, in order to speak to others of the love of God, we too need to be “in love” with God.

How then can we grow more “in love” with God?  

Spending time each day focusing on praising God, rather than simply asking God for things is one way to help us to grow in our love for God.  Spending time in praise helps us to look towards God and to focus on God’s amazing love, whereas prayers for ourselves and others turn our focus away from God, as we look around and think about what we would like God to sort out next.

A second way to grow in love for God is to spend time in God’s presence in silent prayer.

In Psalm 27:4, David says, "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord".  A word often used today for “gazing upon God” is contemplation, which means simply sitting before God in silence, opening our hearts and minds to him.  Repeating a simple phrase like “Be still and know that I am God,” can lead us into the stillness of God’s presence.  It may also be helpful to offer a prayer like this …

In trust and thankfulness, I enter this quiet welcoming space.  Here I am alone with God, safe and loved.  I open my heart and mind to receive the divine mercy and light that are coming to meet me.  And I offer myself to be, with God’s help, a channel of light and peace in the world.

Taking time to praise God and to gaze upon God in quietness are two ways that we can grow in our love for God.  And as we grow in our love for God, so it will become easier and more natural to speak of that love to others.

Song:  Count your blessings

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Beloved God,
I am yours; I was born to serve you.
What is your will for me?

King of my life,
Source of all wisdom,
Kindness and gentleness,
I am your servant;
Even with my faults and failings
I will sing of love for you.
What is your will for me?

You created and redeemed me,
You called me and loved me,
You waited patiently for me.
O my sweet Love,
Show me where, how and when.
I am ready.
What is your will for me?

(Teresa of Avila (paraphrase))