Story by Douglas Haule Mbai
The shining stars from the Northern block came together with their counterparts from Southern block for their Valentine’s service held at RNG Plaza Nairobi, Kenya. Due to the chilly weather, the service started a bit late with a word of prayer before the song leaders led the congregants through praise and worship.
The communion sermon from John 3:16 was done by Douglas Haule Mbai who preached about two distinct loves – the love that the world offers and that which Christ offers -gospel love.
He noted that the Valentine which the world celebrates every 14th of February was about someone who died and is awaiting judgment. He helped the shining stars to understand that as Christians, we celebrate Jesus Christ on a daily basis. He has risen and is very much alive in our lives. The love that the world offers seems so glamorous and attractive where on Valentine’s Day people are adorned in red, they walk in two by two but the end results of this love isn’t usually encouraging.
The world talks of romantic love which seems nice but will always fall short and shallow when life gets real as expectations are not met and inevitable conflicts arise. Relationships built on feelings are in serious trouble.
Gospel love on the other hand is built on Jesus Christ, His acceptance and love for us. This in turn teaches us to love sacrificially because He has loved us first and without any conditions. Gospel love teaches us to understand that it’s only Christ who is able to fill up the void in our souls that the world craves for in the name of Valentine. Gospel love gives, forgives, extends grace, withers storms, never fails and endures.
The greatest love we can ever offer to those in our lives is gospel love because Christ’s death on the cross has shown and taught us the value of loving others sacrificially, daily and without any strings attached.
The main sermon was by Victor Kwayera who talked about the dimensions of love. He helped the shining stars understand that God looks at Love differently from the way the world sees it. As Christians, God’s perspective towards our view of love should be in regard to moral values (good) attached to it.
Victor helped shining stars realize that true love has no restrictions in terms of specific months, dates, years etc. God has no favourite months to show us His love. He has loved us and still loves us unconditionally up-to date.
“Why is it so hard to find true love”? Because people are looking for it at the wrong places, their quest for love has been characterized by strings attached, lies and deception.
In reference to 1 John 4:7-8, Victor helped the shining stars to understand that we cannot love sacrificially and genuinely if first we don’t know about God. We shall only be able to express true love to our fellow brothers and sisters if we first know about Christ and what He did for us on the cross. Why is it important to know about God? We ought to know about God so as to be able to love. He gives us the ability to love rightly, genuinely and sacrificially.
It’s only when I focus on Christ first that the Love I draw from Him will be able to spill to others. We love because God first loved us. How do we know that God first loved us? This is evident in John 3:16 and 1John 4:10. We also know that God first loved us through the gifts He has given us to be able to serve one another with and finally, He has allowed us to be called His children despite our sinful nature.
The shining stars had time to enjoy a sumptuous meal. The sisters were then treated with roses and thank you note/cards while in return gifting brothers with some nice candies. Sally Nandwa and Philip Ndun’gu took the group through games and the whole service was just a blast. We were blessed with three sisters from the western block; Angela Maitima, Lucy Wangui and Jeniffer Seii who commented that the service was simple but with surprises.
Marie Akinyi, a sister from southern block exclaimed, “I learnt that community is important and that such events that bring us together help us make memories and new friendships.”
“The main lesson I learnt was about having the love of Christ that is there every day unlike the Valentine that only comes once a year” said Jecinta Atieno from Southern block
Sally Nandwa stated joyfully, “Our singles Valentine was epic for me. I learned that with God every day is a Valentine! He never fails to remind us how He loves us, God is love and love is God and God has loved us unconditionally and in return we should love others unconditionally thus 1 John 4:7-8 says. When I love unconditionally then I know God because that is what He is.” She continued, “The brothers went out of their way to make the sisters feel special, we were each given a rose and card and that was really awesome.”
John Maingi from Southern block was overjoyed to reunite with some of the disciples from the Northern block. He was so fired up and at a certain point he was like, “Wow! I’ve interacted with sisters whom I’ve not seen for a while.” He also was of the idea that we should be having such activities more often to strengthen each other as single brothers and sisters.
The service brought together a total of 37 singles.