loving God, loving others…

Today, Valentine’s Day, the Sanctuary’s website is three years old – and to celebrate, we’ve been having great fun at our centre finding new and creative ways to demonstrate God’s love to others.

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From the start of the Sanctuary’s journey, our core values – for both the resources we produce and the centre we run – have been all about choosing to love God AND love others… so today, a day focused on love, we wanted to show this love in action.

With a great team from many different local churches, we’ve created a giant art installation covered in prayers “on God’s heart, on our hearts” which is now hanging in the window, catching the eye of passers-by and drivers stopped at the traffic lights.

And we’ve been giving out homemade heart-shaped biscuits to shoppers and staff at local businesses – and even through a bus window to a surprised (but happy) driver!

Here’s how it all happened…

1. The art of love… our artist Barbara creates the giant canvas with God’s heart for the world at the centre:

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2. Lifting prayers to the God of love… after a time of worship this morning focusing on God’s heart for individuals, people groups, issues, places, and nations, every heart-shaped prayer written in response was pinned to the giant canvas:

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3. A bagful of love… homemade biscuits by eight wonderful bakers from four different churches were bagged, labelled and packed into baskets ready to be taken out in love:

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4. And finally, the canvas was hung in the window, balloons strung up outside and the love of God was spread throughout the town of Ilkley as our volunteer team of biscuit givers marched out onto the streets with bundles of blessing:

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This birthday, and Valentine’s Day, we have been rejoicing in God’s unconditional love for each one of us – and for each one of his 7 billion precious creations.

Our verse for the day has been John 13:34-35 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” As we’ve tried to demonstrate the amazing love of Christ by our love of others today, our prayer has been that those others too will know his deep love in new and life-giving ways.

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