Explanation of the 2014 Creative Festivals Theme
Love the Lord – Love Your Neighbor
This year's theme reminds our young people of God's greatest commandment: LOVE. Jesus is the standard and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. When we allow that love to work within us, and allow that love to change our hearts and souls – then we can go forth and love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all our mind, and we can love our neighbor as ourselves.
The goal is to have the students...
- Understand that our relationship with God must be one of total commitment ("all" is used four times in this theme verse). We need to give God 100%.
- Understand that Christ's two greatest commandments (love God and love your neighbor) do not negate the teachings of the Old Testament, but rather this is what the teachings of the Old Testament hinge upon.
- Realize that no matter who we are and what we have done, God still loves us.
- Understand that knowing and living the love of God will take a life-long effort. To overcome self-centeredness and live Christ-centered lives means imitating Christ's self-emptying acts. "He humbled Himself and became obedient unto the point of death – even death on the cross" (Phil 2:8)
- Know that as faithful Christians and followers of the Master, we need to put our faith into action, practicing good deeds of mercy to our neighbor, whomever or wherever he or she may be. Christ came to save all men and women, and He identifies Himself with the sick, the outcast, and the poor - with those in need. Christ asks us to follow His example.
- Realize that when we see Christ in everyone, it is the fulfillment of the great commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.
- Understand that we cannot use the world's standards; we must use God's standards. This is the battleground in which we may struggle to truly demonstrate our love for one another.