Thought for the Day: This is a passage I have referenced a few times in the last couple years, and it reappeared in my sermon on Sunday. It is a powerful passage, and there are dozens of ways one might reflect on it. Today, I am drawn to the words, “This is how we know love…” In the scientific world, rigorous research and well designed experiments can produce observable evidence that allows for a strong conclusion.
Some will look at spouses hugging each other and say, “Oh, that’s love!” Or maybe they’ll see a grandparent holding a newborn grandchild for the first time, and based upon the look on the face of the grandparent they will declare, “That’s love!” In my opinion, those are observable evidence of love. But for the author of 1st John, love is known in the laying down of one’s life for another. Of course, it is important to know that the Greek language has three different words that we translate as love. Agape is the Greek word used here, and it usually describes the unconditional love of God made real in Jesus. It is not romantic love or familial love, but a love that is made real in sacrifice.
Science calls it observable evidence, but Christianity would call it witness. If we wish for the world to know love (Agape), then we need to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. This is a great challenge to all of us if we are serious about providing a witness to the love of God.
Prayer: For the love you made real for me, O Lord, I give you thanks. Continue to encourage me in my work of learning to live Agape toward my brothers and sisters. Amen.
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