Humans have been trying to figure out love since creation. Look at the variety of ways it is treated in popular songs over the last 70 years. “Endless Love.” “Crazy In Love.” “All You Need Is Love.” “Love Me Tender.” “I Will Always Love You.” “You Give Love A Bad Name.”
Some think love means you can’t get someone out of your head. But love must be deeper than infatuation, because love shouldn’t be something that burns so brightly and burns out so quickly.
Some think love should be exclusive, reserved for those closest to us. But love must be wider than exclusive earned membership, or we wouldn’t have been commanded to love our enemies.
Some see love as a feeling. “You just know,” they say. But love must be more consistent than something that you can just fall out of when you feel like it.
Some see love as a decision, a contract you’ve signed and now you must follow through. But who wants to have someone look at them and say, “You are still my friend because it is my duty” or “I’m married to you because I have to be”? There must be something more powerful than force of will. To be done well, it must be done freely and joyfully.
In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus COMMANDS us to love one another as he has loved us.
And Scripture tells us God’s definition of real love: patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, delights in the truth, protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, and never fails. (1 Cor 13 4-8).
1 John 4:8 tells us GOD IS LOVE.
God LOVED the woman at the well, but he did not love her sin and he challenged her to leave it behind. “Go and sin no more.” Let me repeat that: God loves people, but does not accept their sin. We must strive to extricate sin from our own lives—and challenge others to do the same. That IS love when it is done with love and tact. Love God and everyone he has created. Love them enough to help them to heaven.
“This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
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Email David at email@example.com