So in less than 2 weeks I’ll be preaching to a group of college students on love and I’m using the Scriptures 1 John 4:7-21 and John 13:1-20 to talk about the movements of love that proceed out of the character of God. It’s also a few days after Valentine’s Day so leading up to then I am choosing to blog about from the 4 points of the sermon. Enjoy
Love is Sending
Our initial moments of love involve a movement towards someone. Perhaps a literal step, or the passing of a note, or an introduction. A step of love is always forward moving which is why God sent His son to us. Occasionally love may stand its ground but it never retreats. Love is sending before it can be transcending. In other word’s love starts and begins somewhere before it flourishes. With God, it started before creation with the idea that love in Christ, who was slain before foundation of the world, would play out in a story. Humanity became aware of God’s love, with Jesus.
Scripture tells us this started at His birth, the Incarnation, when God became man, first as a baby. We would be safe in saying that love is born, but before it is born, there is a sense of expectancy before its birth. Attached to the first step of love is a risk. There is real risk in God sending His Son because of the free will in others to reject Him.
The seed of love is a movement of faith, which is why in certain circumstances, an introduction, or passing a note can feel weighty. The weight is in the possibility of rejection, yet love must reject the notion of rejection to remain hopeful and strong and real.
Have you ever passed a “circle yes or no” note? I have, and depending on who you would ask, I did it because it was cute or I was a coward. For some of us passing a note is a step of courage, others approach comparable and even more vulnerable situations with relative ease to the point where needing courage does not even register. Usually, we attribute this to confidence. And I believe confidence has a lot with our ability to love, which is why to give love, we must first know love. You cannot give what you do not have.
But how do we gain love? To gain love albeit a small portion is to accept that it has been sent, and more specifically that it has been sent to you, for you, and without a condition that you become something different than who you are before you receive it. It requires the willingness to receive love by being vulnerable about who we are, while recognizing what we are worth to God, which is priceless. If you want to put a price tag on it, you are worth the blood of perfection, and the perfect love Jesus shows us potentially can make us free of fear. It requires accepting the note that was passed to you. It requires accepting the person, the God who was sent to you. I’m glad I am worth that much.