A many splendored Chapel talk about love
Story by Rick Vacek
Photos by Darryl Webb
GCU News Bureau
Tyler Johnson of Redemption Church tells a story about how his 3-year-old daughter would never give him a kiss. Finally, his wife told him why: “You’re such a loud kisser.” He tried taking some of the smack out of his smooches, and, lo and behold, “I got about 27 kisses that night.”
The message, according to Johnson: Love means different things to different people. Not everyone defines it the same way.
In his Chapel talk Monday morning in Grand Canyon University Arena, Johnson related that story to what makes love the most life-changing word in the world and how the Bible defines it.Johnson based his thoughts on 1 John 4:10-12, which reads, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”
To which Johnson added, “This passage actually says there’s a way to see Him. And that way is through love.”
Or, as Victor Hugo wrote in “Les Miserables,” “To love another person is to see the face of God.”
Johnson noted that when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment is, he said that it is to love God but also to love your neighbor. He never simply said the key is to love God alone.
But Johnson also said that love starts with God — we don’t generate it ourselves. God works through us, not the other way around.
“We don’t make our way to God. He comes to us,” Johnson said. “The engine of love is God.”
Johnson suggested trying an exercise his friend made up, called “The Carrot Cake Game.” Just as carrots and cake wouldn’t seem to go together but somehow do, it’s interesting to create two stacks of cards, one for all the things you’ve been given and one for all of the needs in the world around you, and put them together randomly to create new ways you could help the world.
For example, one of the things you’ve been given could be a garage, and a need you see in the world is the plight of overworked teachers. You could use your garage to clean their cars while they are at work — just a nice little thing that brightens their day.
“What if you didn’t just play the game but did it?” Johnson said. “You will see the face of God in others, and they will see the face of God in you.”
For a video replay of Johnson’s talk, click here.
For a slideshow of Monday’s Chapel session, click here.
Next week’s Chapel speaker: Dustin Tappan of Christ’s Church of the Valley
Contact Rick Vacek at 602-639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.