By Kelly Carr
This is the last of our series surrounding the challenging and liberating statement upheld by Restoration Movement churches: “In essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; in all things, love.” The last section of this motto is a reminder, a call for us to practice Christlike love in all of our endeavors living as God’s church.
Love is a word thrown around often in our vernacular but perhaps without much thought to its deeper meaning. You can be lovesick, lovelorn, lovestruck, loveless, or lovely. You can be bit by the love bug or in search of “Love Potion No. 9.”
But how do we live “in all things, love” among our brothers and sisters in Christ? I’ve seen many examples of this love for God and his people in the lives of fellow Christians:
• Love is the Sunday school teacher who has crafted lessons for 5-year-olds every week for almost 50 years.
• Love is the deacon who regularly checks in on the widows from his congregation.
• Love is the small group leader who vows to keep a struggling member accountable.
• Love is the family who volunteers to house international students from their church.
• Love is the church member who says, “It’s not the way I would do it, but I support this change.”
• Love is the organizer who steps out in faith to turn a passion into a ministry.
• Love is the senior saint who doesn’t love the new worship music, but she doesn’t complain either.
• Love is the teenager who gives up his Saturdays to help his church build homes for low-income families.
• Love is the visitor who shows up to help with the church renovation project.
Blessing to Us
And love is spending every week for 12 years studying Scripture and writing Bible commentary for the readers of The Lookout.
This last descriptor is of Sam Stone, faithful weekly columnist for our magazine. His love for the Bible and for helping others better understand God’s words has been a blessing to our pages and to our hearts. Undoubtedly many of you read “This Week with the Word” each week as an individual or as a Sunday school class to glean deeper wisdom from the International Sunday School Lesson. We are superbly appreciative of Sam’s dedication and skill to that end.
Sam has decided to step away from this writing ministry. He has certainly earned rest from this great work! We hope now he will have a bit more time each week to enjoy with his wife, Gwen, and the rest of his fabulous family.
How often have you seen the attributes of character, honor, and godliness lived out? We have witnessed this in the example of Sam Stone. Truly he lives out the “in all things, love” portion of the Restoration plea. Sam’s quiet humility and caring heart are the foundation of who he is and how he serves the Lord. We are all better people for having had the chance to work with him.