To cap off the love month, let me start with this:
We love because he first loved us.
(1 John 4:19, NAB)
February is the month of love, they say, so it’s not really unusual to see coffee shops full of couples, flower shops full of customers, social media flooding with messages (ranging from being full of love to devoid of love) and articles, such as this one, maybe, that talk about love. The concept of love is something that we have been saturated with to the point that sometimes, it becomes so overused that it begins to lose its meaning. So, as the month comes to a close, maybe it is but right to re-assess and ask ourselves, “Love? What does that look like, really?”
“…because He first loved us”
One very wise household servant in the community once told me a story of how she asked herself the same question and the answer she got took her, and me, in an ever profound awestruck experience, because the answer has always been there all along. Let me let you in on a secret. What does love look like? It is Jesus on the cross telling us He loves us.
I mean, think about this for a minute and just remember. In the presence of the cross or even in the presence of Jesus as the humbled bread of life, at one point or another, we have experienced that love so great it is as if our hearts couldn’t contain it. We feel loved beyond what we look like, what we’ve done in the past, who we are (or sometimes, who we think we fail to be), and that love overflows so much that it changes us, gives us so much joy, and gives us peace. If there’s one thing I am absolutely sure of, it is that THAT is love.
If Jesus on the cross is love, then that is our standard of love in all aspects of love. It doesn’t have to only be in a romantic sense, but also in how we relate with our members, our peers, our family; in how we treat the mission that God has entrusted to us. Whether we are full time pastoral workers, mission volunteers, household servants, members in the community, or just a passerby who happened to chance on this article, He has entrusted us with a mission area and the mission is to love just as He did. We seek to love in the standards that Jesus has taught us how to love- unselfish, unconditional, unassuming. Maybe it’s a tall order but, hey, if we continue to receive it (and we will because His love is endless), then we can continue to give it the way we received it and pay it forward.
We love, because we were loved first. If love gives light, then we are the moon, who gives light to a dark night sky, knowing fully that it is because we reflect the light of the sun.