Eric's Sunday Sermon; Let Us Intellectualize Love
Perhaps we could question if the child loves the parent more or the parent loves the child more.
Some things are fun to think about and not argue about.
Sometimes it is good to stretch the brain on a subject which is so often spoken of, yet the conversation is not about the same thing at all.
Just to start us out with a fun thought let us look at this very popular not so new notion of mindfulness and being in the now. Take any notion that you want to about love. There are something like 20 different words for love in early texts of the Bible. So let us just pick one. A mother’s love for her daughter. Keep in mind our being in the moment concept. Mother says to daughter “I love you”. Well if you take the being in the now concept to logical absurdity that love the mother speaks of changes within the time it took mom to say it.
Love is a flowing fluid concept. It is not an attainable goal or a space to be in that is static. Just take the obvious. Become married and “in love” for say fifteen years. If you were to suggest that your love is the same as the day you fell in love, one would need to seriously question your intelligence as functioning. What would be the chance of loving your 12 year old the same as you loved them when you actually birthed them?
My now 6 year old has had a favorite question game for a few years now. He started out asking me what my favorite (fill in the blank) was. I insisted that that was a silly question. That he had to ask what my favorite was “right now” or “today”. Yes indeed some days I just love the color orange and on any other given day love the color blue. How can one not love a beautiful spring morning and yet equally love to take a walk on a star filled snow coated night.
Let us take a break and enjoy this wonderful song about love. That helps one to view love as being alive.
Maybe not "alive" but most assuredly not dead!
I loved this son when I cut his umbilical cord.
I cannot separate love from rejoicing.
I cannot help it. Every day I recite this scripture to myself. Perhaps it is just too short for most and so discarded as of minimal importance. To me it means more than the thousands of words from the Old Testament. 1 John 4:7-8 “7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Now too many people will tell me that this has to be taken in the context of a father who loving his son will discipline him and punish him for bad deeds. Fine and dandy. But boy o boyo I can tell you that that is the exception to the rule from my father to me and me to my children. In my experience guilt was not even used as a tool to correct. The showing of true concern and the pointing out of errors has always been plenty of “punishment” in my life. “Oh please help me, dad is going to give me a lecture”. “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Proverbs 13:24 is really cool about love. I do not know anything about rods other than fishing rods and iron work rods. Must have been something like a staff that a father would slam down on the ground to get their child’s attention. But I can read loud and clear “but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them”. “Careful” is a great word. When I am filled with care I act in love.
And then there is this other scripture that us crazy Christians love to read at weddings and such. It describes what love is all about. Let us not just repeat it here but rather pull out the words used to describe it. Patient, kind, no envy, no boasting, honors, no self-seeking, no vainglory, no records of wrongs, rejoices in truth, protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres and never fails. However all the other stuff can fade away in a heartbeat and is only of passing value. Well I don’t know about you but if I am busy doing all that good stuff I ain’t got no time at all for the bad.
Let me just interject here; my wife loves me too much, she is always insisting I take good care of myself. Oh yeah that reminds me of the closet hanger rod I have to adjust.
Here is a different kind of song on love that comes from a genre that is not my norm.
Funny thing when I was playing this this morning, my young son came in and told me he loved this song. He just loves love.
Yes it is good for a man to be loved --
Perhaps "free will" is really only our choice of how much to love.
Now let us get one thing out of the way. This physical activity rightly called sex. Sex is an act. Writing an article is an act. Cooking is an act. Shoot, cleaning dishes is an act. For one of those really good moments the other day I found myself really thinking about how cleaning the dishes and the kitchen keeps my family healthy and makes cooking more enjoyable. For at least a moment I introduced love into my cleaning and instead of a chore it became something caring for my family. A chore was transformed into an act of love. Well there you have it with sex. Just a physical act unless transformed through love and then a glorious union. Don’t let anyone tell you that there is confusion between lust and love. You know the difference and I know the difference.
An area of some debate about God is centered around a notion of a “being”. I understand that at some point in time folks just could not grasp the concept of something not having anthropomorphic qualities. So much of our historical portions of the Bible kind of suggest the idea of a dude sitting on a big throne with qualities closer to Zeus than love. This vision of Christ sitting at the right hand of the Father. As though they were really two guys just sitting there. That must be smashed in order to understand that God is Love.
But here is the fun part about the concept of “being”. We use it two ways. He is a being. And, he is being in love. Being in the moment. Love is being, not a being.
Back to love and God. There is this really cool reality that stems from Latin and Greek words that are nearly identical. The idea that when two “forces” are combined they create a force more than just the combination of the two. It applies in everything from sports to medicines to electrical power sources. We call it synergism. So clear is the idea that a coordination of applied work at a task can accomplish more than applied work not in cooperation and coordination it cannot be argued against in sanity.
Well just imagine for a moment that all 7 billion of us have some love. I believe it is true. Imagine that there is no wall between the love of people. If love is as described above then all the love is working toward the same end. Consider for a moment the synergistic effect of such free flowing yet coordinated love. Now assume that we must give this idea of being a name. Well I think we could rest assured that it would be all powerful (omnipotent) and everywhere (omnipresent). Dare we call it God?
God is personal. Love is personal. And yet they are shared and share the same attributes. Or is that one little phrase in the Bible telling us the real whole story? God is Love.
Let me leave you with this thought. I have tried for decades to be in control. It almost seems like a hit or miss deal, I have controlled and I have lost control. But I have found that I am in complete control over my love. If I choose to I can “be in” love. Today I chose love. Please join me.