Dispatch One Hundred Forty-Nine

Posted: April 23, 2015 in Thirty-Fifth Bundle
Tags: , , , ,

1 JOHN 4:7-21

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. 10 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. 11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15 God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21 The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

The revolutionary discovery at the heart of the Christian experience is that the ultimate reality underlying and energizing all things is Love. Not a frigid emptiness or a sterile abyss, but a gracious presence sustains and affirms existence itself. Why was that such a significant discovery?

It was significant because, as psychology has confirmed, there is in the formation of our human self-consciousness (ego) an accumulation of unavoidable anxiety. Coming into our own separate sense of self involves a whole series of concurrent losses, very often symbolized as variations on our original “fall” from the prenatal womb. We take with us, as it were, a growing sense of exile – coming into our own, yes, but often feeling alienated or estranged from the source and ground of our being.

Out of this condition arises the great question of religion: Am I all alone, or is there something more beyond me, something more to me, than I presently know? Faith is the risk – and then the assurance – in believing that there is a providential intention behind the universe itself, and that it has you in mind.

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