love must permeate all

It is so easy to get lost in “knowledge” (though at best we always “know in part”) or in various passions which can be good in themselves, such as the desire for justice in a broken world. It’s also easy to see through some of the lies which are prevalent, as long as we keep asking what lie we’re either receiving or on the verge of receiving. Perhaps we see obvious faults hopefully first in ourselves and then in others which violate community shalom and the love that is to mark that. What is the answer to all of that?

The answer has to be in terms of the love just mentioned. The love of God in Jesus and in the Spirit. Love must permeate all, all we are and all we do. As individuals in solitude, and together in community, and in terms of mission to and for the world.

We don’t always love well and maybe we don’t love very well at all. We have to be open to conviction of sin along those lines so that we can confess such sin and receive forgiveness in Jesus. We do need to live penitent lives before God and others. Of course the first and greatest commandment and the second like it is to love God with all our being and doing, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Related to this is the Golden Rule, whatever we would have people do to us, we should do to them. This is all in terms of love, but it’s a love that is grounded in God’s will in Jesus. And that is in terms of both creation and the fulfillment in new creation. This kind of love carries with it a passion for truth and for God’s will. And it’s a love which is marked by the cross, the way of the cross to the end in and through Jesus. So although there is some significant continuity and overlap with the love we might see anywhere in the world, there is a marked difference in a good share of it. And there is a uniqueness to this love due to its source. We see this in the love of God in Jesus. In Jesus crucified, of course now risen and ascended with the Spirit poured out so that we can experience and live out something of this same love in pointing each other and the world to the God who is love. In and through Jesus.

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