I was pondering the meaning of Love this Valentine’s Day. The first thought came to me as a song I learned in school. It was a Bible verse put to music.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for Love is of God and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is Love.” 1 John 4:7-8
It made me think of those cult groups of white supremacists, who spew messages of hate in the name of God. It is pretty obvious to anyone looking that they do not know God. They have no love, they CANNOT know God. But, how many of us are lacking in love from time to time- we may not actively HATE, but we lack love. Another of my favorite verses on love is one that is very familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of the Bible, or who has ever been to a Christian wedding- it’s used very frequently at weddings.
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails… 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Patient. Kind. Not envious, boastful or proud. Not rude, self seeking, easily angered. Keeps no record of wrongs. Love never fails.
All of those are love. In the Christian church today, I see lots of those things. I see pride. LOTS of pride. Lots of self seeking. Keeping records of wrongs.
But if we have not Love, then we do not know God. If we as a Church are to return to knowing God, there are lots of things that must change. Goodness knows I don’t know where to start. Maybe with Love. Maybe we need to change our hearts to one of Love, and all will flow from there.
The Bible says that the entire law is summed up in one single command: “Love one another.” (Gal5:4) The whole Law, the whole Torah, is centered around this one command. Paul said that the fulfillment of the law was Love. (Rom 13:10) If we keep Love in our hearts, and act from a place of Love, then we can’t go wrong.