7 Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. 8 The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love.
When we say, “everyone who loves is born from God and knows God,” here’s what that says to me: we learn something about God by trying to love someone else.
We learn by trying to sustain a friendship over a long period of time, or in caring for a sibling, child, or a parent. We learn by committing ourselves to another person in a marital or romantic relationship. We even learn by trying to love strangers who aggravate us to no end by talking on their phone at maximum volume while we stand in line together.
One of God’s challenges in loving us is that we’re all different. And because we are all different, we all need to be loved differently. This isn’t just true individual by individual, but even day by day. The kind of care I need today may be far different than what I needed yesterday, or the day before.
Fortunately, God’s love is infinitely adaptable. At times, God loved Israel by giving them structure through laws and regulations. At times, God loved Israel by giving them miracles that bore witness to God’s presence among them. Other times, God loved Israel by giving the people victory over their enemies and allowing them to live in peace and safety.
And then, in the fullness of time, God sent Jesus to bear witness to God’s love in the most powerful way imaginable – with the offering of his very body, his very life. And it turns out that that body, that life, was none other than the life and body of the One who made us.
God went to such great lengths to love us well – in exactly the way we needed to be loved. To what lengths are we willing to go to love each other well?
\By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
What does trying to love someone well over time – though the course of many ups and downs – teach us about the nature of God’s love for us?
Prayer: God, as your crowning glory, you taught humankind to love. Help us today to learn this lesson well so that we can love the people in our lives in the best ways we can – and exactly as they need. Amen.