Worship the Lord in Truth and Love
“Don’t make any changes in the first year.” This is an unwritten law that seasoned pastors share with newbies in their first ministry assignment. It serves well as both wisdom and warning. Here in February 2017 I have completed my twelfth year as Pastor/ Teacher of Grace Church of DuPage, and I can remember only one change I made in the first year. We adjusted the heading of our weekly worship bulletin to read, “Worship the Lord in Truth and Love,” as it still does.
Worshiping the Lord in truth and love captures the essence of the Christian life as efficiently as any expression could. John instructed his congregation, saying, “I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments…” (2Jo.4-6).
There is an inextricable link between love and obedience that even Jesus identified. He said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Joh.14:15). And His commandments are, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” and, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself ” (Mar.12:30-31). Jesus also gave us another big command—“Go… and make disciples of all nations” (Mat.28:19)—but really, all that involves is introducing our two loves to one another, something that should come naturally and joyfully to us all in Him!
So, the call of God in the lives of His children is to devote themselves to love and obedience by the grace He showers upon them—the grace that is secured by the love and obedience of Christ, displayed at the cross. God’s call is for us to live a life of worship in truth and love. This is central to who we are in Him. And it is the essential component of our involvements as we come together weekly for corporate worship on Sundays. That is why we added it to the bulletin back then.
And that is why I want to draw our attention back to this affirmation having now completed a dozen years in pastoral ministry here. It remains the description I would like to be truest of Grace Church: we are a community of believers that is filled with people who “worship the Lord in truth and love.” Collectively we “worship the Lord in truth and love.” Anchored to God’s truth, rooted in His truth revealed in Scripture and displayed in Jesus, we press on to live the life of love He modeled, enabled and guided by His indwelling Holy Spirit. May God achieve this vision among us to the praise of His glorious grace, and to the deep satisfaction of His redeemed sons and daughters here.