And Now a Word From John
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
Maybe it was the excited couple I spent Monday morning with planning their wedding. Maybe it came out of concern for the situation overseas and in the Dark Valleys of poverty and violence in our own country. Maybe it is because Son #2 graduated today from Nursery School and he looked so proud with his portfolio and little rolled-up diploma, both graced with the remains of his celebratory Hoodsie Cup. Whatever the reason, I have been thinking about this passage. I like it.
God loves us, people! It's that simple. God loves all of us and the sooner we recognize that and start loving each other the better. It seems strange to have to point this out, but for the sake of Son #2 and all of those graduating this time of year--each one trying to make their way in an often hostile world--it demands repeating. Love is as much an action as an emotion. It is a way of being (God is love) and being like God! It isn't enough for us to love in our hearts.
Here is what I propose to you as a summer project: Look around you and see what needs loving then go do something about it. Do this every single day. Sometimes it will be your kids. Sometimes your parents, a stranger, the environment, your local government or church institutions will need your active love. Every day is not too much to ask. Also, don't expect to get thanked. This is for your benefit, after all.
Oh yeah, "I love my job" doesn't count unless you can truly say that you wouldn't mind doing it for free. Also, we do plenty of things that we love to do that don't necessarily pay it forward. You can still do those, but take that energy you get from them and hand it off in another act for someone (or something) else. Love is like a circular letter, you can't just address it to yourself.
Good luck and remember that I will be out there, too. So will the rest of humanity because, frankly, we cannot help ourselves as long as there is nothing pushing us down (and if you see people being held down, what's the loving thing to do?). Remember that this a "win-win", too. The more you give, the more you receive. Ain't life grand?