Kayla's Korner

Kayla's Corner
News for and about the United Methodists 
of Cresco and Zion

February 2019

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your
arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding
as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty
flame. Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot
sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one's
house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”
Esther 4:12-14

Valentine's Day has always seemed like an odd
holiday. Why do we have one day a year in which
we show our love to one another? Every day should
be a day of showing how much you love and care
for each other. It is a great day for all who work in
sales, due to the amount of money spent each year
on this day. It is a great day to show your loved one
you care, because you can never do that enough.
Yet the story of St. Valentine, the holiday's
namesake, did not begin as a sweet, happy love
story, but of a priest standing up for what he
believed was right even with the penalty of death.
Valentine was the name of a Roman priest who
lived during the time of Emperor Claudius II.
Claudius felt that married soldiers were weak. They
were away from home for a long time and would be
thinking about their families. So he made an edict
that prohibited the marriage of young people.
Valentine did not agree with this edict and would
secretly marry couples in the church. He was
eventually caught and imprisoned for his act.
While he was in prison, the jailer had a daughter
who was blind, and it was said that Valentine fell in
love with her. On the day of his execution he wrote
a note to the jailer's daughter and signed it, “From
Your Valentine.” He was recognized years later by
the Roman Catholic Church as St. Valentine.
Valentine cared about love, and he also cared about
his beliefs in God and the sanctity of marriage. He
gave his life for what he believed, setting an
example to so many that marriage is not something
to be taken lightly. It is a gift from God that is
blessed by love, a love that is known through
Christ and his sacrifice on the cross. Valentine's
Day is really a day in which we acknowledge the
sacrifice of God's love that calls us to live a life of
sacrificial love. No gift that is bought on this day
could ever be enough to say how much you love
someone. It is not about gifts but of giving our
lives to Christ, knowing we are loved by God, and
in return loving others, even our enemies.
Because God's love is so strong, a day is not
enough to celebrate it. How can you express that
much love in a day? It is so strong and powerful
nothing we do could ever destroy that kind of
love. Valentine's Day reminds us that we are loved
by God, and that love means we make sacrifices,
we risk our lives, and we give our hearts over to
God. The love of God means we are never alone
on Valentine's Day or any day of the year. Love is
never ending and cannot be quenched by flame or
water, not even death.
Do not be discouraged; do not feel afraid for
God's love is with you always!

Praying for you,
Pastor Kayla

January 2019

“Well, we have a whole new year ahead of us. And
wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all be a little more
gentle with each other, a little more loving,and have a
little more empathy, and maybe, next year at this time
we'd like each other a little more.”
Judy Garland

Every year we come to the month of January
with mixed emotions and thoughts. For some,
January is the longest month of the year with endless
cold and snow. For others, it brings a promise of a
new year, a new start to life, but it often ends in
brokenness and lost hopes and dreams. We get
ourselves so excited that we can start a new year but
forget how easy a new year can start any day we
want. January is just another month of the year, the
New Year for the calendar schedule. Yet not the new
year for everything we do. Think of it as one new
year in a year full of new years. We have hope that
this year we will have more happiness and cheer than
the year before.
All of our hope in life comes from the
opportunity to start over, a fresh start for our lives and
a fresh start to work towards being better people than
the year before. We look forward to new days and
years because they remind us that there is hope
beyond the struggles of everyday life. We have hope
because Jesus Christ gave us a new chance of life
when he rose from the dead, defeating death itself.
January may be an endless month of cold snow, but it
is a time for remembering the one who gives us a
new heart and life. It is not by what we do that we
are given this new heart! It is not given a certain day
of the year. It is not even given by saying we believe
in God. It is a good start to begin with saying you
believe in God, but our new life comes from
confessing our sins, admitting our failures, and asking
Jesus to forgive us and make us new. It comes from
knowing you are loved and cherished by God.
The joy in this hope is that instead of
making New Year's resolutions that are more than
likely going to fail, we make a resolution to become
more like Jesus knowing we will fail but not be a
failure. We begin as children loved and cherished by
a God who forgives and gives us more chances
than we ever could deserve. Instead of looking at
this year as a time to begin new changes in your
life, look at it as how you might make changes in
your life that reflects God's love.
Maybe this new year should be the time in
which we ask Christ to help us be more kind and
loving to one another. For some it does mean being
kinder to him/herself, for others maybe thinking less
of self and more of others is the answer. All of us
can try to be kinder and more loving to each other.
If we were to be kind and loving to one person a day
for a whole year, we would be kind and loving to 365
people. If everyone did this, think of how much love
we would see instead of hate.
We do this not to feel good about ourselves
but to reflect the goodness and love of Christ who
changes our hearts and make us new each and
every day. Let us give thanks to God for this year
and all of the years within it, because we have hope
that give us the strength we need and knowing we
have been set free from sin and given a new chance
of life.
Confess, call out, and receive the mercies of
God's grace and love. Let Christ be your New
Year's resolution!

Always praying for you,

Pastor Kayla