Friday, April 7

Life in Love

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. --1st John 4: 15-17

My husband once made it a point to express to me that he didn't just love me, he was in love with me. By that he meant that our relationship wasn't unidirectional. The fact that he loves me--for the sake of argument--could still be true regardless of whether I loved him in return. This would be something like the 'unrequited love' that we see in movies or read about in silly romance novels. To be in love with however, requires that both people be actively engaged in the relationship. The aforementioned one sided, unidirectional love, as opposed to unconditional love, is probably the reason why people sometimes feel that they have 'fallen out of love' when what they really mean is that they are not in love with the other person.

I agree with the attitude expressed by the members of DCTalk in their song "Love is a verb." By definition, verbs are action words. I also believe that the particulars of love are based on choice. The oft expressed idea that love is something that can be fallen into--as if it is an open trench beside the sidewalk--or out of, downshifts love into a passive thing. By most Christians' understanding of the word, love is far from passive.

There is nothing passive about the love that God has for us, nor in the way He conveys that love to us through Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. God doesn't just have love for us--He is love. Christ didn't just love us, he demonstrated the extent of that love by actively choosing to come to us on a human level. He who is God, took on flesh and walked among us. He who had no sin took on every last disgusting sin of the world in order that we could be free of it when we stand in judgment.

We must not be passive in response to God's love. His love is made complete in us and among us when we live in Him. Instead of just loving Him, we must make sure that we are in love with Him. When we acknowledge Christ, we acknowledge that the work on the cross was God's way of paving the two-way street between Him and His creation. Over the next week or so, as we prepare to celebrate Christ's resurrection, let us be ever mindful to maintain an active response to His choice to love us.

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