The Encyclopedia Galactica, in its chapter on Love states that it is far too complicated to define. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of love: Avoid, if at all possible.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.
Aboriginal Australian Proverb
Love is one of the most-needed and most misunderstood of all human conditions. And yet it is the foundation for our relationship(s) with God and with others.
- How often is lust misunderstood as love?
- How many “crimes of passion” occur
- How many people avoid confrontation in the name of love
- How often does fear overtake love?
- Do we “love” to get something?
- Do we withhold “love” to punish others?
- Do we treat “love” as currency?
John 3:16 – 17
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Matthew 22:64 – 40
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
What is love?
1 Corinthians 12:31b – 13:13
And now I will show you the most excellent way.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Love is not/does not:
- Can you think of a time when you’ve see a “Love is/does” in action?
- Can you think of a time when you’ve seen a “Love is not/does not” in action?
- How important is it that we love?
- When Paul starts writing about growing in maturity as a parallel to our spiritual lives, how does that relate to spiritual gifts and love?