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The Big Reveal

January 24, 2022

Love never fails . . . And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13: 8a,13

In a few weeks, on Valentine’s Day, we will be expressing our love for our loved ones and friends in many ways—through cards, flowers, gifts, notes, special meals and treats.  While we would like to think that we express our love for those we cherish throughout the year, Valentine’s Day is the day that we set aside to remind them of our love.  Our Scripture texts this week show us some of the ways that God has revealed his love for us through the millennia.[1]

God revealed his love for us through the prophets, chosen to bring the Word to his people—to call his people to faith.  Jeremiah received one such call.  He was chosen by God before his birth: “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations’” (Jeremiah 1: 4-5).  What an astonishing concept—that God knew the person Jeremiah–and you– would become before birth!  Jeremiah argued that he wasn’t the right person for the job—he told God that he was too young and inarticulate.  God responded by overcoming his objections: “Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, ‘I have put my words in your mouth . . . Get yourself ready!  Stand up and say to them whatever I command you” (Jeremiah 1: 9, 17a). 

In the words of the psalmist, God was Jeremiah’s refuge, as he is yours and mine:  “You have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.  From birth I have relied on you . . . I will ever praise you . . . l have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge” (Excerpts, Psalm 71: 5-7).  God chose and used the prophets and others to reveal himself to us because he loves us.

The Big Reveal was Jesus.  God sent his Son to reveal his truth to us because he loves us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3: 16).  He loved you before you were born. He loves you every second of every day of your life, and his love for you will never die.  Even as you take your dying breath, his love for you will shine brightly.  Remember that when life gets tough—when you are getting beaten up by others or by your own self-recriminations.  Remember that God loves you and that he will never desert you. 

One of the more obvious ways that Jesus revealed himself to the people of his day was through the many miracles of love, mercy, and compassion that he performed. In next Sunday’s Scripture text, Luke describes three such miracles: the driving out of a man’s demons (Luke 4: 33-35); the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Luke 4: 38-39); and the healing of many people (Luke 4: 40-41). Jesus did not allow the demons to reveal him as the Son of God, “Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah” (Luke 4:41).  The people clamored for Jesus—they did not want him to leave them.  But he told them, ”I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent” (Luke 4: 43).   

Jesus knew that he was sent by God to redeem man and to reveal God’s truth and love to them.  Actions speak louder than words. Jesus’ miracles confirmed that he was the Son of God—even the demons could see that!  Nicodemus knew that Jesus was the Son of God [2]: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:2).  We see in Jesus The Big Reveal—the revelation of God in the person of Jesus Christ:  his power, his compassion, his truth, and his love. 

Another person through whom God chose to reveal his love for us was none other than his once worst enemy: Saul.  God had to literally knock him down to get his attention.  But once God revealed himself to Saul, aka Paul, he became an apostle on fire, spreading the gospel message of God’s love throughout the ancient world. The most commonly quoted Scripture verses at weddings, and on anniversary and Valentine cards, were written by Paul on the subject of love: 

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,] but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails . . . . And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love “ (1 Corinthians 13: 1-8a, 13).  

God loved you before you were born. Over the millennia he has chosen many ordinary people like you and like me to be his messengers—people who thought that they didn’t have the skills, the time, the resources, the courage, or the interest to help reveal God’s love to others through their words and actions.  Yet many have answered the call.  And because God’s Word was revealed to the prophets and to others, and through the sacrifices of his Son on our behalf, we have been blessed with the knowledge of his love for us.

Will you answer the call to reveal the truths that God has revealed to you?  God calls his people to show others the power of his truth and the comfort of his love for them.  

What is he calling you to do?  

Prayer:  Father, thank you for revealing your truth and your love for us by sending your Son who took the fall for us.  Help us in our struggles to love others.  Close our mouths before we spew envious, arrogant, boastful, angry, demeaning, or self-serving words.  Help us to be patient and kind.  Help us to protect and to help others so that we might lead them to your never-failing, always-embracing, and loving light.  Reveal yourself to each of us today, Lord, and guide our steps as we seek to reveal your truth and love to others. Amen

Diane Cieslikowski Reagan                                                                                                  

[1] The Scripture texts for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany are Jeremiah 1:4-10, 17-19; Psalm 71: 1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13; Luke 31-44.

[2]  See “Nick at Night,”

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