As I Have Loved You…
By Richard Hahn of Sandia Park, New NM, USA
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’ —John 13:34–35 NRSV
God gives two great blessings to all human beings to experience every day of our lives: LIFE and LOVE. These are the great realities, both miracles and mysteries, of our human existence. They are blessings of potential and possibility that we must claim and cultivate. God and we are partners in their coming to fruition through the exercise of our agency and intelligence.
LIFE—the on-going-ness of consciousness and behavior. Life includes our inward thoughts, imaginations, fears, decisions, problem solving, evaluations, dreams, and hopes. Our outward actions and deeds include speech, gestures, all social action, physical work, and play. Spiritual insights and active missional engagement are expressions of our lives, too.
LOVE—the on-going-ness of our most important relational needs and wants that starts with our birth and grows in ever-expanding circles of family, neighbors, playmates, school and work friendships, dating, courtship, marriage, families, and other significant community events. All this is in keeping with the two great commandments, internally and externally. Blessedness is our human heritage, without our asking or qualifying for it.
Life and love are inherent in our humanness. They are truths of God’s grace. They are ours for the claiming and cultivating, as part of our Christian discipleship and stewardship. Blessedness is not a casual and easy-going accomplishment. We need one another’s help in qualitative living and loving. Awareness of our own blessedness, and seeing it in everyone else, must become a daily experience. Then our witness and our missional efforts will become a natural extension of our blessedness.
Prayer for Peace
Giver of life and love, we would live fully and love fully in gratitude for your commandment. For as givers and receivers of love and peace, we find blessing ourselves.
Spiritual Practice: Love
Reflect on the love of God. How is it that God sent Christ to be “all our loves exceeding”? How do you see God’s love revealed in Christ? How do you reveal God’s love in your own life? Think of ways you can express that love as you prepare for the Son of God—Love’s Pure Light. Thank God for the ultimate gift of love—Jesus Christ.
Today, God, I will remember, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” —Jimi Hendrix