This is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love each other as he commanded us. (1 John 3:23)
Love is an overly familiar word whose concept never eludes us. We often define it by loving the movies we see or the books we read. Love is displayed by supporting our Chiefs. Displayed through family and friends. But in this passage, we are reminded of another kind of love – a mandate to love. Love is more than a feeling or sudden flash of emotion. It demands more from us than poetic words and romantic gestures. It summons everything and requires all. It is infinite and, through that characteristic, challenges our finite understanding.
We are reminded that heaven commanded an enormous, simple, sacrificial act. Love became a person, stepping into our pain and walking in our grief. Love willingly and voluntarily died – and in doing so, made life available to us.
So what does that look like for us today? With Christ in you and me, by the Spirit of God, love is transferred from a romantic notion into a human being. Love becomes a listening ear on a hard day. Love becomes a high five celebrating a joyous occasion. Love goes out of the way to mow a neighbor’s yard. Love sits beside someone else in the hospital waiting room as they await eagerly for good news. While often intangible, love is almost always visible through sacrifice, compassion, and generosity.
Let’s allow this love to have its way with us. Let’s use this prayer as our guide:
Thank you Lord for grace. Thank you for loving us. We pray that our lives would be filled and overflowing with the power of your love so we can make a difference in this world. Use us to be your hands and feet, that we may be a beacon of hope for those we come into contact with. Amen.