Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Church Year and the Lectionary Commentary – The 7th Sunday of Easter (Day 3)



1 John 5:9-13

If we receive human testimony, God’s testimony is greater, because this is what God testified: he has testified about his Son. 10 The one who believes in God’s Son has the testimony within; the one who doesn’t believe God has made God a liar, because that one has not believed the testimony that God gave about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God gave eternal life to us, and this life is in his Son. 12 The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have God’s Son does not have life.
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of God’s Son so that you can know that you have eternal life.
We are created for love – to be loved and to share love with God and others.  This love is made manifest to us in and through Jesus, God’s Son.  To believe in Jesus is to embrace this destiny of love; not to believe in him is to reject this destiny.  In fact, this is to make God a liar, claiming that love is not our destiny but rather some other project or venture in which we have invested our “ultimate concern” (Paul Tillich).  This is, to put it bluntly, to become an idolater – which is precisely what John warns his readers against in the final verse of his letter (5:21)!

Love, however, is a word that requires definition.  It has come to mean anything and everything and, thus, nothing until the person using the word defines it.  For Christian faith it is Jesus who is love’s definition and embodiment.  He is God’s love in action.  We are not left to guess what love means for God – we have only to look to Jesus and behold it!  In fact, Christianity’s most distinctive claim is not about how godlike Jesus is.  Rather, it is how Jesus-like God is! 

So, what is Jesus-like love?  Richard Ball sings it, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Aspects of Love,” in the song “Love Changes Everything.”  Read through the lyrics and then listen to the video as you reflect on the love which is our destiny to receive and to share.

Love,
Love changes everything:
Hands and faces,
Earth and sky,
Love,
Love changes everything:
How you live and
How you die

Love
Can make the summer fly,
Or a night
Seem like a lifetime.

Yes, Love,
Love changes everything:
Now I tremble
At your name.
Nothing in the
World will ever
Be the same.

Love,
Love changes everything:
Days are longer,
Words mean more.
Love,
Love changes everything:
Pain is deeper
Than before.

Love
Will turn your world around,
And that world
Will last forever.

Yes, Love,
Love changes everything,
Brings you glory,
Brings you shame.
Nothing in the
World will ever
Be the same.

Into the world we go,
Planning futures,
Shaping years.
Love,
Bursts in, and suddenly
All our wisdom
Disappears.

Love
Makes fools of everyone:
All the rules
We make are broken.

Yes, Love,
Love changes everyone.
Live or perish
In its flame.
Love will never,
Never let you
Be the same.




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