The First and Greatest Commandment – Reflection for 1 DEC 2019
To love the Lord your God with your whole heart, mind, and soul. What is required to love? How do I love? What is love? Can I put it in a box with a lid? Can I buy it?
The Greeks took love and put into three categories, thereby limiting and maintaining control of the thing called love. They put love into the form of defined sculpture, thereby imposing boundaries on what is boundless by creation itself.
Philio, brotherly love, also includes sisterly love, a binding of family inherited or chosen, is wonderful but restrictive . An act of true Philio is an act that is historically recorded, for example the Christmas Day in the first World War where a cease fire and both sides sat down together to celebrate and remember the reason fighting could even halt in the midst of war, is God’s love for His creation by giving us His Son, in the form of a newborn infant. The world changed that day and continues to change when we remember the gift of boundless love in the form of the baby infant Jesus.
Eros, the love that allows for bonding of relationships, in marriage, in child birth’s joy. An action of blending of the physical on one level to the maturity of spiritual on another level. Eros is not the lust of the pornographic but the foundation for family, where two truly become one, another mystery of God for our blessing.
Agape, a love that is all giving, a love that is so true we think it rare when we see it. An action that focuses on the other than the self. An action that is sacrificial in its nature, as the sacrifice nurtures and encourages and mentors the receiver in his or her journey.
All these definitions of love have limitations and fall short of what true love is about. True love is an action that is so overwhelming that to grasp its substance is to have your breath taken away with the understanding that you don’t have to know the answer to, what is love. As it is all consuming and impossible to describe except as an unending sense of joy. Is it any wonder that at this time of the year we can become misty eyed over the quietness of the star studded night.
This is the kind of love to which we are called. This love that has no bounds, no definition, no start or stop. This is the love that God has for us in the infant of Jesus and the adult Jesus on the cross, a love that resurrects the wreckage into glory. C.S. Lewis speaks of that kind of joy when he realizes the love that God has for us, a joy without explanation.
LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, MIND AND SOUL, because He has loved you with all of Himself through Jesus the Christ, God is with us!