The first epistle from John the Apostle boldly declares “God is love.” Suffice it to say, this is the most important way to describe God if such an act were even possible. It’s not. The second we try to describe who God is, we begin to make God who we think God should be. But John said, “God is love” so there’s that.
In his gospel, John also stated that Christ is the Word of God. To put it another way, Christ is the Word of love in that Christ speaks and defines God’s love to us. If we believe what the gospel writers and early church first pronounced, that Jesus is the Christ, then we can say that Jesus is God’s love defined in human form. Thus, the Christian faith proclaims that Jesus is God or at least a part of God’s love. What might this say about you or me if we love like Jesus did?
In his best-selling book, the Ragamuffin Gospel, the laicized priest and late author Brennan Manning, wrote “If Jesus stopped loving, he would stop being God.” God is love. Christ is love. Jesus is love. So who are we?
Moreover, God is also in love. God is love, and wherever God is there too is God’s love in action, on full display. This should speak to each one of us, especially in regards to how we greet every relationship be it a deep or shallow one. Is God's love actively present? Is there love in that moment of time and space?
Like I’ve stated before, if we believe we are made in the image of God, then we must also believe that we are made from love for the purpose of making love grow.
Wherever we show up, God is there because God's indwelling love is in all things, including you and me. God is in love with us because God is in the act of loving with and through us. To put in another way, if God is in us, then God should present in everything we do. Every act should be an act done in love.
I don’t know what it’s like to be God. But I know what it feels like to be in love. It's both beautiful and explosive, colorful and dangerous as you give yourself completely over to something other than yourself. No surprise love is often described visually with fireworks.
Love is often described as euphoric or an intense emotional state that is characterized with an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness that can empower you with a confidence to believe if the world were to explode, you’d somehow come out okay. But love is more than that.
Love is also very dangerous. It can make you feel more vulnerable, afraid or confused whether or not you’ve been hurt in the past by love. Love is risky, not just because you might lose that person one day, but because of what love makes you do. It invites you in.
If God is love, then God is inviting to jump in and be a part of the action of love. That is to say, God is inviting you to be in love. This can be spiritually cool and refreshing. Or it can be faithfully frightening. Either way, the invitation is the same. You either jump in, or you don't.
The gospel, or good news, is how Jesus invites us to be in love. When he said, “Follow me” he was showing us how walk in the footprints of God’s love. John went on to write, “let us love, not in word or speech but in truth and action.” Because that’s what love is, and that’s what being in love is all about. Being in the act of loving God and loving one another.
It has become too common in our modern lexicon to throw around the word love and to do so without any true commitment to it. “I love my job” is one such phrase, but how many of us are in the flow of God’s love at work?
God is inviting you to dive into love and give into the wild and unpredictable currents. To be in love requires risks as you partake in the act of love – be it emotional, physical or spiritual. Love might seem dangerous and daring but it also has its rewards. The most common one, which is often the one we desire the most, is to be loved in return. To be in love is to share love. Just as God shares love with us – unconditionally.
God is in love with you and me. God wants us to jump in and be in the flow of love and ride it everywhere we go. God is inviting you and me to take the risk and be fearless, and even dangerous with it, knowing that love begets love.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”