Sunday, June 18, 2017

Clothe Yourselves with Love

Colossians 3:14
Graham and Kasandra Rogers
June 16, 2017

Graham, your mother, and Kasandra, your soon-to-be mother-in-law would be quick to tell you that I have no business standing up in front of a group of people to talk about marriage. So because she is here, I’m not going to do that. Instead I’m going to talk about clothing yourselves with love, as Colossians 3:14 puts it. Three points. You asked for a sermon, so there are three points. Grounded in God. Expressed in Action. Woven into Your Lives.

First, Grounded in God. The first principle of the Gospel is found in John 3:16: “God so loved the world that God gave the Son so that whoever believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.” God so loved the world because "God is love," says 1 John 4. God is so love, according to Romans 5, that “God demonstrates God’s love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Clothing ourselves in love is what we do when we are Grounded in God who gives, who is, and who demonstrates love not only to those who are lovable but also to those whom others consider to be unlovable.

Love Expressed in Action is not about worthiness or feelings or words. Love Expressed in Action is about behavior. So clothe yourselves every day with giving, being, demonstrating love for each other and for others because that’s how God gives, is, and demonstrates love. Grounded in God. Expressed in Action. And Woven into Your Lives.

Kasandra, you will remember, I’m sure, that when you were 10 years old, a stray puppy showed up at your house and didn’t leave. For several days, your parents waited for it to disappear as suddenly as it had shown up while they tried to decide whether to take it to the pound or try to find a home for it. You finally confronted your mother about what they were going to do about the dog. You told her that you had been praying to God for a dog, and now this one had shown up at your house, and that you thought you should keep it. Your mom had too big a heart to try to tell you that God doesn’t answer prayers with half-starved, flee-bitten strays. And so you kept her; and you named her Lucky because, as you said, “She was Lucky to find us, and we were Lucky to find her.” Best.Dog.Ever. And now you have done it again. This guy comes from a long line of flee-bitten strays, and there are multiple witnesses to that fact in this room. Grounded in God, Expressed in Action, and Woven into Your Life is giving, being, and demonstrating love even to those whom others might consider strays, unworthy, defective. That’s clothing yourself in love, and both of you are lucky to have found each other as an answer to prayer.

Graham, at about the same age, you were reading the Harry Potter books; and one day you and I were debating who was the most powerful wizard of all. You were championing the old headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore, and I was arguing for young Harry. I asked you a question that I thought would seal my argument: “Why do you think that Voldemort was not powerful enough to kill Harry when he tried?” You were quiet for a moment, and I thought I had you. And then you said, “I think Harry’s mother loved him so much and Harry loved her so much that their love was stronger than Voldemort’s power.” Grounded in God, Expressed in Action, and Woven into Your Life is giving, being, and demonstrating love that is stronger than any power, that overcomes any assault, that triumphs even over death. That’s clothing yourself with love, and that’s the love that you and Kasandra share with each other.

As a sign and symbol of the love that is Woven into Your Lives, I invite you to share now in the bread and the wine of the Lord’s Supper that is a witness to the love that God gives, is, and demonstrates in Jesus Christ, and in which we clothe ourselves every day.

Post-communion prayer:       
Grant, O God, that nourished by the Bread of Life and sustained by the Cup of New Life Graham and Kasandra may so clothe themselves with love that they may live with you and with each other in Christ Jesus now and forever. Amen.

Copyrighted © 2017 by Jeffrey S. Rogers. This material may be copied or disseminated for non-commercial use, provided this notice is included. The author can be contacted at

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