Dé Céadaoin, Eanáir 18, 2006

love...actually

This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s where righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is His command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in Him, and he in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the spirit He gave us…
Dear Friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the World that we might live through him. This is love: NOT that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

No, these words are not mine. John penned them almost two millennia ago. We sometimes get caught in between the words here. We believe that there is so much we have to do to keep God’s love. Even if we don’t think of it that way, I think subconsciously we’ve convinced ourselves that we have some great part in all of this. It says that we can have “confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask.” All he asks in return is for us to obey His commands. We’re even told what that command is, “believe in the name of His Son, and to love one another.” That’s it. It’s that simple. But why then is it so hard for us to love? We talk about loving God and loving others, but we so often fail. I so often fail, maybe your better at this than I am, I don’t know, but I know that I fail. I read that next part. I read how God loved us before we could ever truly love Him back. I read the price of my life, not my sins. The price for my sins was my death, but the price for my life was greater. The price for my life cost someone else his life. It cost someone else his son. And all that person wants from me is for me to love him? Humanity reels at the idea that what cost someone else so much, would cost us any less, but to be honest I don’t understand that either. We’re such a consumer driving people, we want something but we don’t want it to cost and arm and a leg. I get angry because I have to pay 2.50 for a gallon of gas and am sure I’m being cheated. So why isn’t that we haven’t caught on to the bargain of the ages? Is it possible that we realize with realizing it that love, true love, not the adulterated idea of love known as romance, but the word, the action, the feeling that breathed life into the world, that shaped and molded it, isn’t – really – free. That for us to love Him back would mean that we were sorry for things that hurt him, for killing his son, that we’d have to give up our plans and follow His, that we’d have to say we were wrong, that we should have pulled over and asked for directions years ago, but were too stubborn to do it, that we actually like worrying about our live because then when it all goes to pot, we know who to blame it on, or at least can think of a way to blame it on someone else. That’s why we don’t want to love those around us…because if we love them, we love Him. And that is harder than it seems to be. I can still hear him say it, “come to me, my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” All you have to do is love. All you have to do is be who you never knew you could be. The funny thing is, all He wants to do is make us what we were. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to be like Him, to walk with him, to look into his eyes, to simply be with him. We’re the ones who are broken. I don’t have much of a point to this; I do, but I don’t. I’ve read over this passage at least twice a day since Sunday, and this is what I have. Nothing. Questions without answers, answers without questions, and underneath it all a desire to do nothing but live this out. I want so much to be worthy of the price, to know in my heart that it’s not in vain. Maybe God’s love is something I can’t understand. Maybe love is something I can’t understand. Maybe that’s why we make such a mess of it; distort it until its something it was never meant to be, a lizard on your shoulder that really should be a white stallion. I’m just wrestling with things here so if your confused…just go on about your life like you would. Ignore the ramblings of a young, professionally confused, bohemian, who’s got a knack for music.
A.T.H.

3 comments:

elizabeth said...

For being "dry" that was really long. I'll read it next time I am on

Amy said...

Actually I enjoy "the ramblings of a young, professionally confused, bohemian, who’s got a knack for music" :)

I'm so intrigued by this thought:

"I read the price of my life, not my sins. The price for my sins was my death, but the price for my life was greater. The price for my life cost someone else his life. It cost someone else his son."

I never thought about it that way: Christ paid the price for my life, not the price for my sins. *I* could have paid the price for my sins. Death. But the cost of my life was far greater. Wow. I need to ponder the implications of this for a while.

Combs said...

ok...dry may have been the wrong term. but If I tell you that this was just off the top of my head would you believe me?
A.T.H.