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Love Revealed

Posted on 28 Apr 2024

April 28, 2024

1 John 4:7-12

Rev. Kristen J. Kleiman


According to author, Gary Chapman, there are five love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. In his book, the Five Love Languages, Chapman proposes that we each speak only one of these five; however we need to learn how to speak the other languages in order to connect with other people.

As we look around our own church community, we can guess what different people’s love languages are. We have the huggers who clearly speak the physical touch love language loud and clear. We have those who spend hours caring for this historic building or bringing food to our mission partners and showing their love through acts of service. Then there are those who show up from time to time with a thoughtful little gift or who write notes and emails to complement and uplift others. And of course, there are those who seem to think nothing of spending all the time in the world listening to us, keeping us company, making sure we know we are seen and important.

I really resonate with Chapman’s theory of five love languages; however for Christians, there is a six language. It is God’s language, the language of sacrificial love. God’s love language is a love that always puts people first.


Scripture and our own experience tell us that God loved us before we loved God. God loves even those who do not return God’s love. Love is who God is. Love is God’s way. God loves, and out of love, God gave us the Son, God gave us Godself, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Atonement is a big fancy theological word like santification and justification that I might have to look up to get the definition just right, if not for this little trick I learned. Atonement means at- one-ment. Through Jesus Christ, through his sacrifice on the cross, God took away all of the sins, all of the brokenness, all of the flaws that kept us from fully connecting with God. Through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, God removed all that separated us so we could be at one with God and God’s love.

God’s love is a love that puts us first, that sacrifices for us, and God’s love is revealed through Jesus, through Jesus’ life, Jesus’ teaching, Jesus’ healing, Jesus’ death on the cross, Jesus’ resurrection.

God does not hold anything back from us. God is fully with us. God loves us so much that God was willing to take on this human form, this human body that gets tired, that gets sick, that struggles.

God loves us so much that God is willing to walk through the anger, the frustration, the fear, the pain, through everything with us. God was willing to take it all on – just to show us how much God loves us.

And God’s love doesn’t stop there. God was willing to give up this human body, to sacrifice this human life in the most painful and humiliating of ways, so we might know that there is no limit, absolutely no limit to God’s unconditional love for us.

I think it is important, no essential, for us to continuously hear that good news, for us to pause and really soak in God’s amazing, unconditional love. While the world might tell you that you are not enough, while the world might tell you that you need to be taller, shorter, thinner, more muscular, more this, more that, God loves you just the way God created you to be.

Beloved, God loves us so much…. So much.


And God is revealing that love to us each and every day. Through the sunrises and sunsets, through the beauty of the plants unique to where we all live, through the amazing creatures that share this earth with us. And through people. Just as God revealed God’s love through Jesus, God reveals God’s love through us.

God’s love, a love that puts people first, is revealed through this Christian community in so many ways – through our outreach and service ministry; through our Kids’ Club and Youth Group; through our choirs and this worship ministry.

God’s love, a love that puts people first, a love revealed through this Christian community was especially clear yesterday at the Tag Sale. Out of love for God and love for others, there were those who prepped all of the items and lugged them around and set them up yesterday.

And then there were others who gave items for the tag sale, helping to raise money for the important and hope bringing ministry we do here at the First Congregational Church. And still others came to the tag sale and were present with the shoppers, getting to know them, connecting with them, showing the way of unity and community. God’s love was revealed through each one of these people.

How is God’s love revealed through you? How does God’s love live in you? How is Christ’s love revealed through your life? (Pause)

How is God’s love revealed through you? How does God’s love live in you? How is Christ’s love revealed through your life? (Pause)


Of Chapman’s five love languages, mine is acts of service. Empty the dishwasher; vacuum the stairs; Put up and down the storm windows at church (Thank you, Bill.) I feel cared for and loved when someone does a task that makes my life better so in turn, I am very task oriented, hoping my acts of service will make someone else’s life better. It’s my way of loving God and putting others first.

Except….. not everyone speaks the same love language. In order to truly put others first, to love sacrificially as God models for us, I need to learn other love languages. I need to practice other love languages.

And learning new languages is hard. Learning new languages stretches us. It makes us give up, sacrifice even, because Christian love, sacrificial love, asks us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. To not only stand with the least of these, to sometimes march and protest and boycott with those who are discriminated against.

Christian love, sacrificial love, invites us to pay attention, to pay attention to those who are quietly asking for our words of reassurance and affirmation; to pay attention to those who could use a sibling in Christ to sit with them for an hour or two; to pay attention to those who are hurting, grieving, lonely, and disheartened and to just sit with them in that place, to honor their feelings, and remind them, sometimes without words, that they are not alone, that they are loved, unconditionally loved by God.

Sacrificial love, Christian love, invites us sometimes to put down our phones so we can spend time with others, and sometimes, it invites us to pick up our phones so we can spend time with others. It invites us to take the extra time to recycle, to reuse, to compost, to walk or bike someplace instead of drive or group your shipments into one so we can care for this earth and its people and the generations to come.

Sacrificial love, Christian love, invites us to pause in our daily life and look around at work, at the grocery store, at the Senior Center, at school, to pause and see who is around us, see who we might start a conversation with, who we might build a connection with, who we might reveal God’s love to – through our time, our kind words, our acts of service.

As Rev. Lawson reminded us last week, what the world needs now, what the world needs always, is love and love takes work. Love stretches us. And often love asks us to sacrifice, to put others first, just as God always puts us first.

God is love. God loves you – unconditionally. As we grow closer to God, soaking in that good news, may we reveal God’s love in so many ways as we follow the way of Jesus Christ.