Life, the Universe, and Everything, from the Outside In

The Most Dangerous Love

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Doing some thinking lately. Dangerous habit, done too much alone, so somebody help me out here, please. From where I’m sitting, it seems like there’s a lot more to that bit from 1 John- “God is love,” than what we tend to notice. If we think about God, outside of this space/time realm we occupy, and there was no space/time before He created it. Well, even saying “was” assumes time when there was (there I go again) none. So God wasn’t “sovereign” before (?) He made anything to rule, but God is love, and that love means love to be given and received, in an eternity in which there is God, and nothing else. Father, Word, and Spirit, in eternal, radical, Selfless, love!

C.S. Lewis was reflecting the simple faith of his Irish homeland when he wrote in famous, The Four Loves, about the difference between a childish “need love” and a fully mature “gift love.” From the first, though sure we in our own relationships always do have that “needy” aspect to our love, looking to be “completed,” but God… is absolutely complete in Himself, and He is totally Himself, totally love! Not limited to what we think of as love, but real, absolute, Selflessness in giving, total love is what God is all about.

So how do we fit into the picture? Because God needs us? Of course not! Does He crave to be told how wonderful He is? We have ideas of worldly kings who have to be stroked and flattered with smooth words and fancy dinners. After all, it’s lonely at the top, they say. Is God lonely, weak, needy, insecure? He made us, this lavish planet around us, the vast reaches of space with all the different kinds of stars and planets, not to show off how grand He is, but to extend His love to us! Interestingly, Bishop Anselm, who first spelled out for us the whole “substitutionary atonement” plan, also said that even if Adam had never fallen, and Man had never sinned, Jesus would still have come as He did just out of His love for us.

A lot of Western theology has grown up around what seems like a view of need. We are told that God made the Universe because He needed company, or that our “chief end” is to “glorify God” like so many periwigged sycophants of Louis XIV because the bottom line is all about vindicating God’s honor, or having somebody to show how great He is. In other words, we start off with a needy God, and He is then either moved out of the desire to prove his dominion in a reaction to human need to initiate the whole Incarnation- In other words, either Jesus came because God had something to prove, or else His coming was initiated by our sin. Does either option give us much of a picture of God? Who Is? (Self-giving) Love?

Could it be that God, first of all, is love, and that His being, total love, means total freedom to love. He created us in His Image, meaning that we would be free to love, a love that reflects His own. Even if that freedom meant the freedom to mess things up? After all, if there weren’t freedom to turn left, would a right turn really be free? And, because of such vast love, He gives us the freedom to hate the mess we’ve made and even to repent from our bouts of stupidity and turn to Him!

Is God the Sovereign Lord of All? Of course He is, and greater than we could ever imagine imagining: But is it His plan to call us peasants, or dearly loved children? 1 John 3:1,2


Written by Robert Easter

Friday, 24 October, 2008 at 23:03

Posted in Uncategorized

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