Abide in Love Adapted from I John 4:7-21. Dear Father, help me to love others, for love is from You and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. If I cannot share Your love, then I do not know You, for You are pure love. I believe in faith that You sent Your only begotten Son into the world so that I might live through Him. In this is love, not that I loved You, but that You loved me first and sent Your Son to be the propitiation for my sins. I therefore confess that Jesus is Your only Son, that You abide in Him and He in You. I have come to know and believe the love, which You have for me through Jesus. Thereby give me the power to love my brother as fervently as You have loved me. Amen.
“To love my brother and sister as fervently as You have loved me.” We have three children. Each of them is unique. Each of them is precious to us. Those children have gifted us with six grandchildren. I have six siblings. Andy has four. They include their own children and grandchildren. The circle of love expands. Add friends, acquaintances, and friends of friends and the tapestry of loving becomes a master piece always in process. Weave in enemies and contrarians and the pattern is even deeper.
Watching the interaction of all of individuals is interesting. What matters most to God is that we loved as God loves. That means no one has to earn our love. As I age, I find that any sense of alienation is painful. I want realtionship conflicts to be resolved. I want people to love each other. Time on earth is so brief. I want to find what Richard Rohr calls the Third Way. I do not want to live in a binary bind where I must choose one person over another.
To love my brother and sister as fervently as God loves me is my heat’s desire. Can we seek to be reconciled even as we may hold separate understandings of the world? Will we love even those who struggle and cannot love us at the moment? Is there a Third Way?