It was a bit of a shock. . . to hear that really loving someone is excruciating. But it made sense, because where does the word ‘excruciating’ come from? The cross – the greatest symbol of love the world has ever seen! (The ‘cruc’ part of the word means cross in latin.) The God/man, Jesus, willingly surrendered his perfect life and his perfect unity with Father God, to suffer rejection by those he came to love and die for.
God is Love.
If God is not real, as our teenagers sometimes suggest as they explore, stretch and try out their own faith, then Love cannot be real, because God is Love. No God, no Love.
Some weeks ago, I listened to Dave Andrews (sometimes called a Christian anarchist) talking about love and justice. Dave was speaking at AMUC (Among the Urban Community), a week-long residential mission in central Perth for those aged 18+, designed to help people explore where our Christian faith and social justice connect. It helped me see how these two vital concepts relate.
Our fundamental calling, said Dave, is to love. We are made by Love for love. Justice is simply how that love is expressed in public.
Love = the ideal, a commitment to the welfare of the other. It’s an attitude.
Justice = how we show love. It is action and reality.
God’s justice does not stand in opposition to His love; rather, it is the fulfillment of His divine love in practice. This has challenged my thinking that I am often judgmental, in that I am ‘too much about justice’ and ‘not enough about love/mercy’. But, if I am following God in showing people godly justice, it will actually be an outworking of my love for them.
Oh . . . ! (light bulb moment).
I’d love a discussion on this. . . Would you? Suzie Brans went to all of AMUC, whereas I just made one day. If you are interested in love/justice or further details about AMUC, I’m sure she’d be happy to talk to you too.
Jesus calls me to imitate him more and more closely. I can do that by reading the gospels and scriptures that talk of him (UP). It’s essential I don’t ruminate alone but discuss what I find with others (IN). Then I explore REAL ways of receiving his Love and giving it to others who so desperately need it (OUT).