God is Love
By Lucas Sharley
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only son into the world that we might live through him.”
“What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, no more.”
That song, like a lot of human thoughts, thinks about love as a negative. An absence of emotional pain. That isn’t entirely true—we’ll come back to that thought later. There is also a positive to love. When you love, you give someone else your attention and energy. You think about them, feel towards them, speak to them, help them.
God is three persons and one being. Father and Son and Spirit are distinct persons, and they are also one being who share one essence.
God is love. The three persons look at each other and think about each other. Each person sees the infinite goodness of the others and loves them with an infinite power. Love is not a human invention. Love came before the universe; love invented the universe. Divine love invented human love.
When we say “God is love” we aim our attention at who God is. He is three persons perfect in love. Rather than being a cold and distant being, he is the maximum of love. He is the infinite positive love we were made to reflect. Every moment or action of human love depends on God’s love.
Since Adam and Eve ate that foolish fruit, our loves are twisted up. We cannot share in God’s community of love. Setting our love right, wiping away our evil, came with a cost. God sent his only Son into the world that we might live through him. So that our love could be what it was made to be. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
But when love was born in Bethlehem—when divine love took on human form—did he encounter perfect relationships? No! God’s love came to rescue us at a cost. Jesus’ love for us came with pain and frustration and suffering. He had to win through many obstacles and enemies to save us. And now that we live in him, we face the same struggles of love.
God’s love between the persons is perfect and clear. Human love in this world is difficult. Jesus is God’s love reaching into this world, bringing us back to reflect divine love. He empowers us to live in love. God is love.
Lucas pastors the English congregation at Eight Mile Plains Methodist Church in Brisbane, QLD.