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.
Today is Tuesday 8 January, in the season of Christmas.
The community of Taizé sing Gott ist nur Liebe.
‘God is nothing but love.Dare to give all for love.Give yourselves without fear.’
Today’s reading is from the first letter of John.
In the short passage we have just heard, we hear what is probably the greatest single statement about God in the whole Bible: God is love. The greatest expression of God’s love was his sending of his Son into the world so that we might live through him. Think of the people you have met in the last few days or the people you are likely to meet today and tomorrow. How might God’s love be revealed through me? Through them?
God is love - we are not being told something abstract. God is love tells us what God does. Love is an activity, not a quality. Saying that God is love suggests an active, engaging God, someone who wants to be in relationship with us – not a remote, “hands-off”, intellectual concept. God creates lovingly, God saves lovingly, God judges lovingly. Are there ways I can engage with God more openly? more actively? more lovingly?
Love can be expressed in many ways. Love is made real in what we say and in what we do, and how we treat other people. Listen to the passage again. Notice how many times the root word “love ” appears in different forms in these few verses.
“In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son” – it is God who takes the initiative, all we can do is try to respond. So at times when I feel weary and godless, remember it is God’s saving action, not my effort that really counts. How might I want to respond to the God of Love now?