The word "love" appears in my Bible 586 times. Steadfast love runs through it.
In spite of the fact Joseph's brothers had sold him into slavery, God stayed with him and loved him steadfastly. God even used Joseph, in slavery, to feed people through a famine, redeeming his brothers' crime, using it for good.
The ancient prophets were God's messengers, telling the people in poetic and powerful ways that starving the poor to accumulate wealth is a sin. Indulging themselves while harming others is a crime, because God cares about justice, mercy and peace.
The Holy One loved them. God loved us enough to risk coming to live among us. Yet, even after we killed him, Jesus walked among us, granting us peace, telling us not to be afraid, revealing God's love.
You see, the word "love" appears 586 times because that is what this book of books is about. The word "science" does not show up at all. And where we think we read biology, geography, astronomy, history, geology or anatomy, those are just part of a love story.
In fact, in Matthew 22, Jesus says the two greatest commandments are love God and love neighbor. "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Loving God and loving neighbor are the guiding principles by which we must judge all other rules and advice. Is it loving? If it does not show love, it is not godly.
Remember all the times when God, or angels, or Jesus told people, "Do not be afraid." Science helped us live longer when it discovered bacteria in our water. That all our neighbors might have plenty, that safer, abundant energy might be developed, that disease and disability might be defeated, all of us need to support scientific research and our best thinking.
We must use our God-given brains to love our neighbors. Our children must separate theory from proof. Our teachers must be encouraged to teach science. Because we serve a God who loves us all.
To learn more about God's love story, the Bible, attend Evolution Sunday, Feb. 9, at St. John's United Church of Christ, 10 Main St., Tiffin. Worship begins at 10:30 a.m.