Our God is LOVE
Acts 14. 21b – 27
Revelation 21. 1 – 5a
John 13. 1. 31 – 33a, 34 – 35
“You must love one another, just as I have love you, you also love one another. By this
everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”( John 13: 14).
Jesus gave us a new commandment, a new code of conduct or we may say, He prescribed a
new behavioural pattern for us. This new behavior would be for us, an identity card which we
will not need to put on upon request but which will be evident everywhere we go and in
everything we do. This new commandment is nothing but love or one another just the way
God loved us.
Loving one another is not that easy. Look at a child’s letter to God: “Dear God, I bet it’s very
hard for you to love everybody in the whole world. There are only four people in my family
and I can never do it.”
Why should we love another?
Are there any special reasons for loving others? First, loving one another is a commandment.
Second, loving one another reflects Christ. Third, loving one another is an evidence of
Christianity. Fourth, loving one another is the fulfillment of the law. Fifth, loving one another
is evidence of God’s very existence.
In his book “the Brothers Karamazov,” Fyodor Dostoyevsky has one of the brothers saying to
the other, “Love indeed is a harsh and beautiful thing compared to love in words.” We all
know that, don’t we? That to love is hard indeed.
This we know, love is taught by the mother who gets up at night to nurse her child, or the
hospice worker who tends the dying, or the young men and women serving on the peace
keeping forces or missionaries working abroad. Love is the father who works two jobs to fed
and clothe his family and pay rent. Love is seen in the thousands of volunteers in soup kitchens
and shelters for the homeless.
Sometimes strangers teach us about love, like the firefighters who went into the burning and
collapsing World Trade Towers on 9/11 to rescue screaming victims or like the teachers who
died in Virginia Tech who wanted to protect their students from being killed.
The great Mahatma Gandhi (the father of Indian Nation) was asked about his view of
Christianity. What he said could show us what probably is keeping two – thirds of the world
away from the Good News of Christianity: “I have a great respect for Christianity. I often read
the Sermon on the Mount and I have gained much from it. I know of no one who has done
more for humanity than Jesus. In fact, there is nothing wrong with Christianity, but the trouble
is with the Christians. They do not begin to live up to their own teachings.”
Love expresses itself in respect for and understanding of life. Love is life giving. In these times
in which we live, humanity has failed to grasp the most elementary spiritual principle and
Christian premise: however we treat other people, we treat ourselves. Now, this is not just
some idea designed to make us feel guilty and to force us to treat each other with kindness and
care. It is, in fact, a mystical reality.
Our inability to respect each other points to many flaws in our understanding of ourselves as
human beings. It shows clearly that we do not fully understand that we as human beings are a
composition of body and soul and that the soul is eternal and has an infinite value.
Our failure to treat other with respect also shows how little we understand God as the living
God and the life-giving God. All life comes from God.
So often in our homes we see a tiny ant that could never cause harm, and our first reaction is
to kill it. Why? Do we actually feel threatened? In our minds we have formed the idea that
the ant does not belong in the house. In it not convenient, so we kill it.
This may seem like a small example, but the cumulative effects of such attitudes are crippling
So often we sit down at a table in a restaurant and on the table is a fresh flower. Now, a flower
can be loved and appreciated on many different levels. You may look at a flower and see that
it is beautiful and pleasing and love it for that. Or you may look at the flower and recognize
that the same life force that sustains the life of the flower sustains your own life. Then your
observance will have assisted you to grow in love of the flower and of life. God sustains the life
of the flower just as He sustains your life. Further you may look at the flower, see that it is
beautiful and pleasing, and recognize that its beauty and splendor as part of creation are only a
dim reflection of the God who created it. This will leave you in love with the flower, in love
with life, and in love with God.
When was the last time you really appreciated the beauty and wonder of a flower? If we could
appreciate the smaller aspects of creation like flowers, how much more would we appreciate
the next person we meet?
Respect for life must be developed at every level. Our inability to see life as being sacred has
led us to apply the disposable attitude of ht nineties even to life itself. If a person is old or
terminally ill or if a child is unwanted, we kill him or her. At the same time we speak out
against the injustice of murder and violence within our society.
Abortion is the ultimate sign that humanity has failed to understand that life is precious and
sacred and that the human person is made up of body and soul.
Every day of the year abortions are committed in Canada. Four thousand innocent souls are
sent prematurely into eternity because their life, which is sacred, is inconvenient. Hardly a
word is spoken of these little ones.
My heart hopes and waits for the day when the people and the leaders of this nation decide
individually to exercise their influence and live, defend, and proclaim all that is good and true.
As a Christian I believe that if I wrong you, I wrong myself because we are one body. We must
live together in harmony so that we can work together to make our family, our church, our city
and state, our country and world the places and communities God designed them to be. He
has entrusted them to us. We can destroy or enrich them. But be assured, if we destroy them
we will be destroying ourselves.
Take a little time each day to reflect on the mystery and wonder of life – first in nature, then in
animals, and finally in people, especially yourself. By doing so your behavior toward all living
things will change. You will learn to love all of them more. And you will learn to love yourself
much more deeply.
Jesus came to save the whole person; the task of attaining sanctity, then, involves the whole