Psalms: 36, 39
Gospel: Luke 4:31-37
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a sermon of St. Augustine

Oh happy circumstance! 😀 I skipped over the “God is love” quote this morning, only to have St. Augustine bring it back to me this evening. Funny how life works out sometimes. 😉

Check it out:

Which of us would dare to pronounce the words of Scripture: God is love? He alone could say it who knew what it was to have God dwelling within him. God offers us a short route to the possession of himself. He cries out: Love me and you will have me for you would be unable to love me if you did not possess me already.

In many other world religions, God is often depicted in the form of a lover. For some reason, Christianity–especially in its Western form–has tended to shy away from such language.

Part of that reason is due–I think–to the influence of Greek philosophy….where the material world, and eros are conceived of as dangerous to the soul. Granted, they are not detrimental to the soul…..but rather they get in the way of the soul realizing its true potential.

What John’s letter teaches us in saying that God is love….is that the duality so popular for the Greeks is boulderdash for Christians. We are only given the ability to love because we have felt love ourselves….We only feel the yearning to be in community because God himself initiated it in the mutual love of the Holy Trinity.

Our whole being…..our whole raison d’etre is not to seperate ourselves from love and desire……but to love and desire the right thing namely God and our neighbour.

The idea that God is love is not so much a mushy admission that YHWH is a hippy in disguise, as it is a candid reminder of where we come from.

God spoke the Word in the beginning and the world was created out of nothing….purely for His pleasure and so that he could share his love and Spirit with other beings. To do anything other than love is to deny who we truly are. To borrow one of Mark Twain’s famous phrases:

“Dance like nobody’s watching; love like you’ve never been hurt. Sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth.”

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