Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Our Lord is coming: God's love
1 John 4:7-21
v16 “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
The concept of God’s love has a particularly profound meaning during the season of Advent because it is a time of renewal and restoration. The season concludes with the birth of Christ, the one sent by the Father to redeem His creation. Therefore, Christmas is a day where our memories of the past connect with our hopes for the future. And so, during Advent, it is important to reflect upon our relationship with God and the way in which we live our lives. In John 3:16, it says that God loved the world so much that He sent his one and only Son. As a result, it is important to understand what John means when he states that God is love.
The love that John is referring to, the one which is God, is agape love. The Greek word agape refers to the reciprocal love shared between God and humans. However, to understand the true nature of this love, it is important to understand the nature of the Trinity. Although the mystery of the Trinity is beyond the understanding of man, the essence of it can be understood as such: the Holy Spirit is the love that flows between the Father and the Son. The profundity of this fact is realized only by understanding that the fulfillment of God’s love for humanity is brought on by the Father sending His Son to this world such that humans may ultimately take part in this divine love through the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, agape is not a passive form of love; it also includes a call to action. In the scripture, agape is regarded as the highest form of love because unlike its counterparts, it is unconditional, selfless, and sacrificial. Therefore, John is emphasizing that when we unite ourselves with God, we will become selfless in the way that He was and will love in the way that He did.
Since God is love and His love is shared with us through the Holy Spirit, every act of love, faith and prayer that we complete is the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit. By becoming one with God, we will inevitably be moved to enter into communion with others and share in His love with each other. Ultimately, this awareness of God’s love within us will fundamentally transform the way in which we live our lives.
Dear Lord, help us to embody you and your love in the way that we live our daily lives and in the way that we love each other.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.
Karl A. Menninger
Riya Thomas, Carmel MTC, Boston
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church