Sunday, August 21, 2011

"All You Need is Love! Really?!"

What does it mean to love someone? No, seriously, what does love really look like? What does it mean to love as Christ loved us? Is that even possible?
Too often, I think we are grossly confused about love. We mistake human appetite for love, whether it's for chocolate, a medium-rare rib eye, or sex, we focus on how something or someone makes us feel and then evaluate whether or not that is love. In that aspect, love is a purely human and purely selfish reaction to the stimulus of the world around us. Surely love means more than just the reaction of our appetite or our libido?
Sometimes, I think we feel like love means we have to accept, overlook, even endorse harmful and dangerous behavior from others.  I don't know how many times I have heard, "Well, we have to love them anyway."  What does that mean? If someone we know is caught up in self-destructive behavior to stand aside with some anemic spiritual shrug, regurgitating some well worn platitude can't be all there is to love.
Seriously, there must be more - please there has to be more!
When I look at Jesus I see love and it is so intricate and faceted that it is almost beyond description. Here are just a few examples:
  • He turns water into wine to please his mother and avert an embarrassing situation for a bride's parents.
  • He made children the center of so many of his examples of how to follow him with simple joy and childlike whimsy.
  • He put himself between selfish, bigoted religious folk and a broken woman, so that she knew that, at last, someone cared for her.
  • He harshly, caustically criticized Peter for his petulance when He just told them He was going to die for them.
  • And, most importantly he crawled onto a cross and let love pierce his hands and feet and side and died as the ultimate example of love.
Somehow I think you and I need to re-evaluate what love means. It is more than just fulfilling our desires. It is more than finding affinity with those most like us. It is more than just ignoring the pain of others and the pain their pain inflicts on others.
Love is a radical thing! It is a dangerous thing! It is a simple thing! But it is a thing that will change everything!

Ah, so you see, "All You Need Is Love!"

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