Sunday, February 6, 2011

L-O-V-E: Part 1

That wonderful thing called 'love'! Poets and writers have composed many a sonnet and essay about it since the beginning time. Philosophers and theologians have tried to understand it and classify it for millenia. Every person in history has experienced the ecstasy and the agony of it - usually many times over in a single life.

What is it about love that fascinates us? People say it makes the "world go 'round" but it is also an emotion that is responsible not only for joy and new life, but also for some the worst outcomes in the human experience: heartbreak, jealousy, death, and destruction.

Love on human terms is an imperfect thing: We can lose it, bend it, twist it, and sometimes even destroy it. Love on God's terms, however, is a perfect thing: Never failing, always hopeful, always selfless.

We, as creations of God, have the divine spark within us, but it was twisted in the Fall. The Imago Dei (image of God) within is us blurry - like a fingerprint that has been smudged. It is there, but it is not quite clear and focused.

We love imperfectly, yet God loves us perfectly. We will fail, yet God will succeed.

God's love for us can be seen most clearly in his innocent death on a cross for all of us. How many of us are willing to die for someone who is justly condemned. In God's eyes, all of us are found guilty and condemned to death for the sins we commit in this life. Yet God loves each and every one of us so much that he took our place and died that we might not.

God's love never fails, but our does and it is okay to realize that. We are imperfect people in all areas of our lives and yet God still loves and accepts us as we are. For God's sake, and for the sake of those around us, when we fail we need to pick ourselves up and keep trying. As Pat Benatar belted out in a song from my youth - "love is a battlefield". It is a battlefield that we must keep going forward into, picking ourselves up when we fall or are wounded, helping others along the way, and moving closer and closer (with God's help) to the image of God's love in this world.


"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Love does not dishoner others...[it] rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8