vine branches

Think of someone who you do not like. Think of that person, who just thinking about them, gets you feeling angry, and makes your blood boil. You know who I mean. Even now, you can feel the annoyance growing inside of you. Yes, that is the person to whom I am referring. Can you think of love at the same time? It seems impossible, doesn’t it? And yet, when Christ says, that we must, “love one another”, He doesn’t say except that person. There is a reason for this, let me explain.

Love is the active concern, for someone else’s health, welfare, growth and happiness. And here we are descendants of Adam, full of guilt, sickness, selfishness and sadness trying to perform a truly divine action, namely, “Love”. We cannot do it. No amount of our twisting and turning will get this shoe on our foot. So how is it, that Jesus tells us to love one another? How are we supposed to accomplish that?

Before we try to answer that, we have another question to focus on. Does He really want us to love everyone? Really? Without exception? Come on, let’s be realistic! But, in John 15:12, we read, the words of Jesus, “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.” There it is. It is repeated again a little farther on in the same chapter, “These things I command you, that you love one another.” This being a Christian is not for the faint of heart, is it?

This brings us back to the first question, “How are we supposed to accomplish loving one another?” Jesus gives us a hint, as I have loved you. Jesus, God, is Divine. How can we, mortals, tarnished mortals at best, love with a divine love? We might as well try lifting ourselves up by grabbing our feet in our hands and pulling upwards. Impossible. Yes, impossible. Mortals, such as we, cannot perform divine actions. But, He says, “…as I have loved you”. What is Jesus telling us? We know He forgives and loves us. We know He forgives and loves everyone. He even forgives and loves that person we were told to think about at the outset. Earlier in that same chapter of John 15:4, we hear the words, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me.”

I think that brings us full circle, back to the beginning. We, of ourselves, will find it impossible to love everyone, (actually, to love anyone). We are imperfect and perfection cannot flow out of the imperfect. “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself.” Our attachment, our connection with, our reposing in Christ, allows this seemingly impossible gift to flow through us. It is really, not our love that goes out to others but the love of Jesus flowing through us to the world. If we do not love all, then we can truly question whether we love, at all. We cannot measure the amount we love. We cannot distinguish who we love. We can only accept the love of our God, freely and gratefully. And in turn, allow His love to pass through us to everyone, (even the person at the top.)

Even now, I can hear the protests of, “I know how to love”, and “I love my children”, and “I treat people with love and respect”. To which I guess the questions need to be asked, “What about the person singled out, up at the top?” Do you love those people who treat you poorly? Do you pray for and respect the people who make it clear that they don’t like you? Everyone? Is love an emotional knee-jerk? Or, is it a true concern for the well-being of someone else, with no exceptions? (If there are exceptions, then we are limiting it. And, limited love cannot be from God, and so, it is not love at all.)

If it is an emotional knee-jerk, then we can truly doubt whether we understand the concept of love and all its’ implications. If it is a true concern, then we must accept the fact that we, as imperfect mortals, can only pass on to others that perfect divine love which we receive from our God. We pass this on, not because we have it, but because God has given it to us to be shared, to be passed on. If we have Love, then by its very nature we must give it away to everyone.

The 5 Posts directly below, blend with this theme. They continue the thought. Thanks for coming:

1) Music In Your Soul
2) Triggers In Our Lives
3) A Time For Love
4) It Starts With Christ
5) Pro Abortion is Really Pro Self

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