Formation Fridays: Love
As we close this season of Advent for the year, the final theme is Love.
Scripture speaks often of love. In the Hebrew Scriptures, God describes the love
given to humanity as chesed. This word is often translated as faithful love, steadfast
love, or loving kindness. It is a covenant love; a vow given between parties in a sacred
At Creation, God looked at all things created and called them beautiful: the sky, the
stars, the trees, the streams, the animals, the people, all of it. God called all of it
beautiful. God has never looked on this world with anything but love. It is for this very
reason, that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16).
NT Wright said that when we read that famous verse from John, we read the words,
but what we often hear is, “For God so hated the world that he killed his only Son.”
That is a very different way of looking at that passage.
This is not what we read in Scripture, it is simply how we hear it. God loves the world.
God is even pleased with mankind (Luke 2:14 NLT). God created in love. God gave of
God’s-self in love. God cannot not love, because “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God
entered the world in Jesus Christ in love. Jesus lived a life of love, and he called us to
do likewise. So much so, that he says that the world will know that we are his by our
love (John 13:35).
My reflection for myself as this year has drawn to a close is, “Am I a more loving
person than I was last year?” That is my encouragement for all of us as we close this
year, as we reflect on our year following Jesus: are our hearts more open, are our lives
more free, are we able to embrace ‘the other,’ whomever that may be? In the areas
where we have found victory, we celebrate. In the areas where we have found
ourselves lacking, we give ourselves grace.
We are calling 2018 the Year of Love. We will be exploring love as a theme here in our
Formation Fridays posts for the year. Our prayer is that as a community we can grow in
our love together and share God’s love for the world.
Grace and peace,