Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10
The passage above tells us that "God is love."
Once, years ago, I said that to a skeptical unbeliever. His reply was, "And just what does love look like?"
Back then he had me stymied. Since then, I've tried to come up with an answer to his question. If you don't mind, I'd like to share some of what I've discovered.
I've seen love at weddings, no, not the love between the bride and groom. You won't find love, at least not in its purest form, looking at them. If you want to see real love at weddings, look at the grandmothers. All through the day they have a smile on their faces as they remember their wedding from long ago. They have no illusions. They remember the lows and highs the starry-eyed bride and groom cannot imagine. These grandmothers would share their memories and their wisdom, if someone asked them, but nobody does ... so they just love.
* I've seen love in the smile of a father who watches his seven-year-old, mentally challenged daughter tie her shoes for the first time.
* I've seen love in the hand of an 83-year-old widow who was going to the nursing home. As she slowly shut the door of the house where she had happily lived for so many years, her caress of that doorknob shows love for a life well-lived.
* I've seen love in the face of a young adult who sheds a tear every time she takes Communion.
* I've seen love in the eyes of a mother who watches for her son to get off the plane, which brings him back from combat duty overseas.
Yes, I've seen love in humans, but I also know we have a difficult time sustaining our love. All too often it is a bright light that flickers and then quickly fades.
God's love has no such limitations.
His is a love that reaches out over the centuries. When Adam and Eve sinned, God showed His love. Rather than allowing them to be doomed and damned in hell, He gave them the promise that a Savior would come. When the children of Israel danced around a golden calf, God was furious, but He still was love. The Bible bears witness that the Lord has consistently, constantly, continuously loved His people -- all people, in every generation, in every age.
Do you wish to see God's love?
If so, look into the Bethlehem manger, pray in Gethsemane's Garden, stand before the Roman cross, and go into the empty tomb. There you will see a love so pure, so undeserved that it is unique in all the world. Never before and never again will the world see such care and compassion.
These places show that God is love.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that we -- having seen and been saved by Your love -- may reflect that love to a world, which is lonely, lost and despairing. May they also see the Savior who is visible proof of Your love. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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