“Love is Truth and Action”

Our passage today from 1 John begins, “We know love by this …”


What does love look like? Could you draw a picture of it? Or pick it out of a line-up? Or describe its shape, or sound, or taste?

The disciples examine the fresh wounds on Jesus's body after the resurrection

1 John 3:16-24

April 25, 2021

Dr. Todd R. Wright Our passage today from 1 John begins, “We know love by this …” What does love look like? Could you draw a picture of it? Or pick it out of a line-up? Or describe its shape, or sound, or taste? Robert Fulghum tried. He’s the author of the best-seller All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. He sat in a coffee shop in Seattle with a sign that read, “Tell me a short love story and I will buy you [a cup] and make you famous.”[1] He always drew a crowd and the stories were as varied as the people who told them: like the girl who passed a note to a boy in second grade … and married him 16 years later; like the man buying flowers every week from a young woman – to whom he is just a customer; like the college junior who fell for the woman who had underlined juicy, beautiful, passages … in a second-hand book of poetry, only to discover she was a retired professor; or like the gruff football coach who paints his aging wife’s toenails, so, as he explains, she will “feel beautiful for as long as [she] lives!” I could go on, but you get the idea. We know love by this … its power endures; but sometimes it’s one-sided; it overcomes barriers; and sometimes it transforms people. We know love by this … by the way it makes us feel, sure; but especially by what it makes us do! Truly!

 

The writer of 1 John would agree with that last bit. He says, “love means laying down your life for another” … like Jesus.

 

So let’s not merely talk about love – crafting mission statements or debating definitions. Let’s put love into action! John is telling his community if we fail to act, even in simple ways, when it is within our power to do so, it undermines any claim that we know the God of love. That’s true for us, too! So don’t wait for some dramatic moment. Don’t despair that the need is greater than we can meet. Don’t hesitate. Let the love of God that abides in each child of God to be the thing that animates us! Amen

[1] here and following, from his book, True Love
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