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Open Wide Your Hearts

“We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.” - 1 Corinthians 6:11

Dear Friends,

Last night was so much fun. It was the second last night of the “Love Languages” small group meeting at the church to discuss the idea of how we can learn to love our partners in ways that they will receive as love. And while that’s the focus, what we’ve been talking about has application to our friends, our children, our neighbors and really, everyone we encounter!

If you’re not familiar, the idea is that love can be spoken in generally five “languages” - acts of service, spending quality time, giving gifts, speaking words of affirmation and physical touch. And we all naturally gravitate to one or two of these to show love to the people in our lives. Which is all well and good if the people we’re trying to express love to speak the same language. But… sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you give a gift, and it sits on their shelf because what they really want is a word of affirmation. Sometimes, someone tries to give you a hug, and you bristle, because you’d much rather they offer to help you carry your bags.

There’s so much you can learn from these principles and if you missed your chance to take part in the group, don’t worry, the material is out there and if you don’t want to do it yourself, grab a few friends and consider doing it together - we could host it at the church again!

But one thing that came up last night is that touch, maybe above all the others, requires a level of vulnerability both from the person offering and the person receiving. Ever tried to hug someone who didn’t want a hug? Ever been approached by someone who wanted to hug you that you didn’t want to receive a hug from? You know exactly what I mean.

In our Covid-affected world, one of the first things we gave up was physical touch. We stopped shaking hands, giving high-fives, slapping backs and hugging. Understandably, so… but something valuable was lost along the way. We became a little more defensive, a little more safety-conscious and a little less… vulnerable toward each other.

Whether or not you ever return to shaking hands, hugging, high-fiving (or for our latin and European brothers and sisters - 3-cheek-kissing), I think we need to work on opening up and being a little more vulnerable with each other, to re-build the kind of loving community that we all want to be a part of.

So here’s a question to consider, and a sneak-peak for Ash Wednesday - how can I open my hand and my heart a little more to the people around me, offering and receiving a little more love?

Welcoming You to Grow in Jesus,

Pastor Don

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