- 1 John 4:7-8, 18-21
- John 13:33-35;14:1-11
Early Thoughts: Love is the answer. (Even if we are not always sure what the question was)
When it comes to what it means to live as citizens of God's Kingdom Love is the answer. It is the way to be in the world. It is where we find truth (even when that truth might be uncomfortable). It is what gives life.
Early in John's Gospel we are told that "for God so loved the world..." that God sent Jesus to save the world. Jesus models God's love for the world, Jesus teaches what it means to be people of love, and hear, on the night before his death Jesus gives his closest friends a new commandment. And if Jesus is the embodiment of God's love for the world than when Jesus goes on to say that he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life then it extends that love is the answer.
So what would it look like if we really believed love was the answer? What would it look like if that was the chief principle by which the world was moved? What if it is not money but love that makes the world go round? (Apparently there are many songs by that name)
It should be, for those of us who follow Jesus, those of us who claim the name Christian. To be a Christian is to try and align our lives, our priorities, our choices, with those of Christ. And Christ commands us to love each other -- though not to like each other, so maybe we are also to love those we don't particularly like.
That means we love those who are regularly demonized in our media. It means we love those who we are sure are taking the world to hell in a handbasket. It means we love each other.
"Can't be done" some will say. "Not realistic" others will shout. "Only if they change their ways" still others will proclaim. But it is the commandment shared in all 4 Gospels, and in the epistles, and in Torah. We are too love each other. I do not recall there being many "what if..." clauses in those commandments.
How can we do it? Only one way. We can love because we have been and are and will be loved. For God is loving, God is love.