'Love IS what it's all about'

Built on a Rock

“Love, love, love, that’s what it’s all about. ’Cause God loves us, we love each other – mother, father, sister, brother. Everybody sing and shout, ’cause that’s what it’s all about—it’s about love, love, love.”

These are the words to a song I learned as a youth. And love IS what it’s all about!

The lessons my congregation has been hearing the past few weeks are all about love – God’s love for Jesus, the love Jesus had for both God and the disciples, and the love that Jesus hoped the disciples would have for God.

What does this love look like? In the Old Testament, it looked like God loving creation and putting humans in charge of tending and stewarding it. It looked like God inviting Abram to go to a new place, and be the father of many peoples. It looked like Moses listening to God, and leading the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt, and into a relationship with God, through a 40-year training period of wilderness wandering. It looked like Israel confessing: Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. (Deut 6:4-5)

Jesus added to this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)

And of course, there is the love of God shown for the world in John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

This love that God shows is unconditional, undeserved. It is a way of life, not an emotion or a human type of love.

God has given us examples of how God’s love works and encourages us to engage in the same love toward each other.

It is hard to do that, though – sometimes people get under our skin, or do things that make it hard to love them. We wonder how in the world God can love them, or why God would love them!

We live in a divided world, where it is easy to love those who are like us – look like us, think like us, act like us, believe like us. It is easy to not like the “them” people, those who are not like us, but God commands us to love our neighbors, ALL of them.

We sometimes don’t understand how or why, but God loves them – and us. Love IS what it’s all about!

 

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