Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
LOVE SO DIVINE
1 John 3: 2-18
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 and sisters. (1John 3:16)Love is one of the most overused words in the English language. Everyday in our lives, we hear and use the word love. We use it so often to describe just about everything whether it be people, sports, clothing, hobbies, etc. In today’s world of instant reactions via twitter, facebook, and/or instagram, we throw the word love around more often without any real thought to what the word means and where it originates.
Love is Divine: It should be understood first and foremost that love comes from God as we learn in 1 John 4:7. The word love in the bible is a conflation of three different terms in Greek: Eros (erotic), Philos (brotherly), and Agape (absolute, self sacrificing and all encompassing). The word Agape is used most often in the Bible especially when describing how Christ loves us. As we see in this passage, we as children of God are called to love others the way that Christ loves us – but do we follow His example? Or instead do we, as seen from verse 13 onwards, hate our brothers and sisters? Our churches, our homes, our schools, and our workplaces are just a few examples of places were there can be so much anger and conflict between two sides. They are so deeply entrenched and unwilling to extend the olive branch that the tension is palpable. Is that the kind of love that we so freely talk about? Is that the example of love that we want to promote as Christians?
Love leading to action: In verse 16 of today’s passage, we read that we are to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters, but do we? Our brothers and sisters are all of humanity – met or unmet, friend or foe, Christian or non-Christian, etc. Are we willing to sacrifice for those that we don’t know, for those who antagonize or irritate us, or for those who do not take credence to our beliefs? The commitment of loving our brothers and sisters is not just an emotional willingness to sacrifice but the physical commitment as well. Our actions should be a reflection of love just as much as simple utterances and proclamations. How many times have we neglected those who are downtrodden, who are suffering, who are in need? How many times have we refused to be Christ’s arms and legs to reach out to the less fortunate? How many times have we had opportunities to help others and chosen not to do so because it was inconvenient, difficult or because we just didn’t care enough?
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to realize that love comes from You. Thank you Father for Your love and enables us to share it with each other every day of our lives. Amen.
John C. Thomas, St. Thomas, MTC, NY