Loving One AnotherFebruary 15, 2021 Pastor's Corner
Caring for another person is no small thing. Tending physical needs of clothing, shelter, health concerns is quite literally a matter of life and death. Taking another step is the regard for value of personhood beyond mere physical needs. Possessing a concern beyond one’s own person, having regard for another’s very soul, is a feat of cosmic proportions.
Some might say that this is a natural human behavior. Everyone should act with such a concern for others. Movies and media tell stories of great sacrifice and humanitarian zeal. But they also cover the grotesque reality of human depravity. Let’s face it, mankind isn’t riddled with an over abundance of altruism.
Mothers may naturally nurture and love their children. Even so, it is one thing for a mother to nurse her child, but it is another for that same mother to live with a sinless genuineness of mercy and grace; seeking the greatest good for that child in every atom of their being. Everyday stories surface of mothers doing the exact opposite. We live in a broken world.
This isn’t a declaration saying that a mother’s nurturing of a child isn’t love. Nor that the affection for a child isn’t very strong for almost every mother. Most all mothers seek this with honest intentions, for the greatest good of their child. Why do I pick on a mother’s love? Simply, in my estimation a mother’s love is the greatest love a human can summon. And apart from Christ this love is still deficient.
A mother’s love fails to measure up to the height of love present in Christ for His bride. The kind of love I’m referencing is one where there is a concern for the very heart and soul of another to the point of sinless-action, self-sacrifice, and giving of mercy and grace to mutual enemies. Only one kind of love is like this, and it is the love of Christ.
1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Often love is considered a concern for another person who brings on self-fulfillment, self-actualization, and another number of selfisms. A popular conception of love is never having to say no and always affirming each other as if the other person was yourself. That concept of love is self-evidentially a fairytale, and kinda twisted to boot, sounds very narcisistic.
So, how do we get and give genuine love? Can a person really have the desire for others that is not bound up in self? Is altruism something that man can achieved? Is Christ-like love possible for people?
The answer is yes. Of course this is something that mankind can attain to, but not in the way that many might assume. In and through Christ it is made clear that He first loved us, so that we might love Him. The One who has great love for mankind beyond the physical, leads and enables those who are His to participate in that same kind of love for their fellow man.
For the Church it is then of paramount importance that we learn to cultivate that love. This is a love that is beyond a mother’s love for their child. This is the love of Christ for one another and for the world.