Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Love: The First Fruit

Well, how does one ever write a short meditation on Biblical love? Easily…you don’t! It is impossible to meditate on Biblical love in a couple of paragraphs…or is it? It is impossible for me, that’s for sure. It is not impossible for the One who IS love, though…Jesus, in His Divinity, was able to summarize the entire law into two sentences when someone asked Him what the greatest commandment was: 

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 36-40

There…a very short paragraph that contains all we need to know about Christian love. Understanding this paragraph, however, is not a simple task. Our human brains cannot fully comprehend the immensity of the sentences because we cannot fully understand what love really is. Many have tried to explain it. From the secular and scientific fields, to the Christian and other religious theologies, the topic of love has been explored from a human perspective ever since men and women began to use their brains. In my humble opinion, that is precisely why we can’t understand it. We don’t get it because love is divine in nature. The only way to know love is to know He who IS love, like 1John: 4-8 tells us: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 
1 John 4: 16b

Love, therefore, is intimately and irrevocably linked to God. That is why it is not until the Holy Spirit indwells in us that we can begin to know what love truly is. The “love” that we experience without the Holy One is a human creation that fizzles the moment it comes in touch with reality. When we realize the immensity of the statement “God is Love,” reading Bible passages about love like 1 Corinthians 13, for example, take on a whole new and different perspective:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

We can be the most “loving” and generous person who ever existed, but what happens if we do not have Love? What happens to all our great deeds if we do not have Love…if we do not have God? After all, the “greatest of these IS love” because God comes first, and He is our greatest commandment.

How do we meditate about love in a few paragraphs? We don’t. We extend it to a bunch of paragraphs over a few days. See you later with more on Love next time!

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