Together - for the Love of God! ~ BitterSweetLife

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Together - for the Love of God!

Misty Mountains

The love of God cannot be adequately researched online or in an armchair. The fact that you are reading about it now only implies that you won’t understand it if this is the only place you find it.

Gaining the knowledge of God’s love requires power. And not the power of the microprocessor or even of the IQ. The exploration of Christ’s love is a kind of knowing not available to minds in intellectual isolation. Only in a community of faith can you discover “the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth” (Ephesians 3:18) of the love of God.

In other words, tapping this divine affection is a spiritually sinewy business, and not a pursuit that can be entered alone. Navigating Christ’s “lovingkindness” is a team game—because as we investigate it, we also begin to embody it. No one can measure it by herself, because the effects are inner-outer, arcing out and flooding in. Christ pours out his love within his church, and it calls for both digestion and expression.

Love is a lofy peak in the multifaceted character of God. As we long to measure the depths and heights of the heavenly Everest, an earth-defying giant with hidden roots, we understand that to approach the mystery alone will result in disorientation.

We are meant to see the heights reflected in the eyes and voices of our friends. As John said about his master, Jesus, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16). This was the way in which the mystery appeared—in flesh and blood—in and through Jesus. And now in and through Jesus's followers.

Christ’s love is the founding mystery of the world, and it is known only in relationship. It is hard to be saved if you are by yourself. And it is hard to aid someone else if you are alone. We find ourselves driven into community to know the love of God.

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Jamie said...

This post reminds me of the point in Blue Like Jazz where one of Miller's friends tells him that the way we find out that we are loveable or unloveable is from other people. He says that's why God tells us so urgently to love one another. I think that statement could be expanded to say that the way we find out about God's love is from other people, and that's what makes our love for each other necessary.

Ariel said...

"I think that statement could be expanded to say that the way we find out about God's love is from other people, and that's what makes our love for each other necessary."

Lines from a book gain a better hearing when they are fleshed out. Thus we see Paul writing to tell the churches about God's love for them, and simultaneously going to great lengths to demonstrate his own devotion to them. "I am being poured out for you," he writes. Definitely there is a picture of divine love in a life like that...

And yet sometimes we grapple with God's love in contrast to the love of people, even "God's" people. That's why the word of God is the end of the matter: "God is love" - and slowly we are learning to love like he does.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife