Sunday, July 31, 2016

Interpretations of love

There are so many interpretations of love among people.
One interpretation says…

We must love people, that is, want what is best for them,
have a good will toward them,
but we don't necessarily have to want to be with them,
or put up with them.

This is where many a marriage ends up, and many a congregation.
This is the love that can be commanded
and, once we've hedged the commandment with escape clauses,
we're free to follow this "commandment."

Though there are many kinds of love among us,
the Word of God is the only teacher of what love is.
How we apply it depends on how much we want to see.

For me, just to look, really look, at another human being,
or even at a fellow creature,
without thinking, without measuring, analyzing,
just looking,
for me love comes to the surface quickly.
I want to know the person I am looking at,
and spontaneously I want to love them.

Freedom intervenes to set the limits.
Does the other person want to be loved, or is it an intrusion?
Do I want to activate the love which naturally rises in me,
or will I let it die,
look the other way,
because I realise there will be a price to pay?

I hold myself "ready to love" others,
because Jesus may come to me in the guise of my brother.
I do not fret over whether I should or must love my neighbor
in an active way.
I just love the one who is put before me this moment.
If love requires action beyond that point,
I try to do whatever love demands.

The aftertaste of love is prayer, specifically intercession.

Mother Gavrilia says, "Love does not get tired."
I know what she means…

Once, when I was loving the brother whom God placed before us,
it didn't matter to me that I had to stay with him the whole day,
eating little, taking no rest, just making sure he was fed,
that he would stay awake (we were all up many hours that day!),
that he had somewhere to go while waiting for his bus connexion.
I just wasn't tired.
I could've stayed up all night with him, because I was loving him.

Love just doesn't get tired.

Have you ever noticed how
John 3:16
(the often quoted scripture)
and 1 John 3:16
really go together,
and how the 3:16 in John's first letter is really a completion
and commentary of the 3:16 in John's gospel?

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