I would like to meditate with you on a short message, the topic of which is "The Tie That Binds." This topic is taken from the hymn, "Blest Be The Tie That Binds."
I believe you do not disagree with me when I say that this world of ours is full of jealousies, enmities, strife, anger and dissensions. And because of these things that we find in our midst today, social unrest and even revolution armed revolution perhaps would be inevitable. In fact, in South East Asia today, was trying its best to get into Cambodia.
But thanks be to God that, in spite of strife, social unrests, and dissensions among the people of the world, there is still a tie that binds the people of God all over the world. The Church, which is the "body of Christ", that is scattered all over the world is bound together by this tie.
The church building maybe blown away by typhoon, may be burned by fire, or may be ruined by itself, but the people of God will continue to survive because there is really a tie that binds them together. Fellowship may be dissolved because of some minor, misunderstandings, but the Church of God will continue to march forward because of this tie that binds them together.
Now, let us ask the question, what is this tie that binds? One time I was invited to deliver a message on the occasion of a wedding anniversary of a certain couple. And in this wedding anniversary, I presented the following idea regarding marriage.
First, marriage, from the Christian point of view, must be established by love. For I certainly believe that without love, there can be no real marriage that will be established.
Second, marriage from the Christian point of view, must continuously be fed with love. Without love a married life cannot successfully continue in its mission and purpose, it must continuously be fed with love.
Third, marriage from the point of view of Christianity, must continuously be sustained by love. Without love, brethren, a married life is meaningless. And in order that marriage be meaningful, it must be continuously sustained by love.
These were the three things that I presented in that wedding anniversary 8 years ago. Marriage must be established by love, must continuously be fed with love, and must be sustained by love. In other words, the very point that I am trying to say now is that, the tie that binds a husband and a wife is not what the minister did in the wedding ceremony. The tie that binds a husband and wife is not even the "Eros Love" that started them to become intimate with each other. The tie that binds them together is the "agape love", the love divine, the love that has come down to us from God through Jesus Christ. The Bible says in John 3:1, "See what manner of love the Father has given us that we should be called the children of God, and so we are." This is the love ,that we have received from God, by which we as Christians all over the world could love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and by which we could love one another.
May I repeat; the tie that binds us together, as Christians and as children of one Father, is not what we do in church from Sunday to Sunday but love- the divine love- the agape love. It is the tie of Christian love.
Dr. and Mrs. Packing, we will be missing you a lot as members of the Baguio United Methodist Church. However, we shall be greatly consoled because we know that wherever you go, the goal and purpose of your lives is to proclaim in words and in deeds that the tie that binds all Christians all over the world is the love- the agape love.
As you go to your new place of residence be rest assured that we will always be remembering you in our prayers. And as you go, Jesus says "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment and the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Almighty and ever living God, we thank you that Thou hast made us children of Thine. Merciful God, we pray for Thy loving care, guidance, and protection upon these our brethren who are living us in this church and who are going to a new place of residence. We ask Thy special blessings upon them and grant that they shall always be kept in the hallow of Thy hands. Use them O God, for thy honor and glory wherever they may be. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.