Living Love in a Leap Year

Rev. Derrick Elliott, Pastor, Sun Lakes United Church of Christ

As the desert winds of February sweep across Sun Lakes, we are gently reminded of a unique season in our calendar—a time when love takes center stage in its various hues. February, a month often associated with Valentine’s Day, invites us to examine deeper into the essence of love—a concept that finds its richest expression in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

In the Christian faith, love is not merely an emotion, but a cornerstone, a guiding principle that shapes our actions and beliefs. Jesus Christ, the embodiment of divine love, teaches us that love is patient and love is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. This familiar yet profound scripture captures the essence of love as more than just romantic affection; it’s a universal call to compassion, kindness, and humility.

Reflecting on Jesus’ life, we find countless examples of this love in action. From his compassion for the marginalized to his sacrificial act on the cross, Jesus exemplified selfless, unconditional, and transformative love. In Matthew 22:39, He urges us to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” a directive that extends beyond the boundaries of personal affection to encompass a broader, more inclusive love.

This love is a subject of contemplation and a call to action for our community to strive to embody this love through various acts of service and charity, especially in this love-filled month. Whether through community outreach, supporting local charities, or simply extending a hand of friendship to those in need, we see the love of Jesus in motion, vibrant and alive.

2024, being a leap year, adds a unique dimension to our reflection. Just as a leap year recalibrates our calendar, aligning it more closely with the celestial rhythms, it also offers a symbolic moment to realign our actions with our faith. This additional day can be seen as a gift—an extra 24 hours to express and experience love in all its forms. Perhaps, this leap year, we can each take a “leap of faith,” reaching out in love in ways we haven’t before, exploring new avenues of kindness and understanding.

As we journey through February, let us embrace the love that Jesus taught—a love that transcends mere sentiment and manifests in our actions toward each other. Let this month be a time of renewed commitment to living out this love in words and deeds. Let us fully embody the love and teachings of Jesus in every moment granted to us.

I leave you with a thought from Colossians 3:14: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” May this month of February, and indeed this leap year, be a time when love, in its truest sense, becomes the rhythm of our hearts and the signature of our actions.

Sun Lakes United Church of Christ welcomes you to join us for worship on Saturdays at 4 p.m. Blessings and Peace!