Jesus: A Modern Love Story
December 27, 2021
How do I love thee? Countless ways…
Early this morning while coming awake, I started thinking about what a good day yesterday had been; being outdoors in the fresh air with my husband; cleaning up from a Christmas Day snowfall, burning a big brush pile up in the “back forty”. The temp was struggling to get above 30, and still cloudy when we headed outside, but soon the sun broke out, and turned the surrounds magical with the snow and ice glinting in the tall pine trees on a brilliant blue backdrop. It was a good day, we both felt it. I sat up next to my husband on the John Deere as we rambled down through the far field after tending to the brush pile one final time, and as I looked up into the blue feeling happy to be alive, I praised and thanked God for it. I told Him that I remembered Him. I told Him that I loved Him. He told me that He loved me. So, this morning as I was coming awake and thinking back on that, and all the Lord has given me and done for me in my life (so far…), how could I deny Him His request of me? He said “write Me a love story.”
As I closed my eyes and prayed to ask the Holy Spirit for leading, I said “it’s not about ‘our’ love story, it’s about Your love story with the world, isn’t it?” I immediately received confirmation in a gentle, assuring nod.
I went to my Bible, to the book of John, where in 3:16 it says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. This is nothing new under the sun. This is for sure one of those foundational scriptures that we’ve all heard repeatedly over the years, and some have even memorized, but since this is His love story, His perspective should be considered to gain full understanding of the depth of the love declared in this solitary verse. So, I ask you to permit my humble, meager attempt to describe this perspective from where I stand…
To me, when God states that He “so loved the world”, and because it is stated using a past tense, it assumes a sentiment that was made before the Son was “given” or sent to the world by the triune God, i.e., the Father, the Son Jesus (Yehoshua) and the Holy Spirit. This sentiment became in one voice, one pronunciation, a single agreement [Genesis 1:26]. In looking beyond the idea of the creation of man, they saw the introduction of sin by the master of it, and even then, made a Way for man to be saved from sin because of their love for him. The Greek word used in this verse is αγάπη, or ‘agapi’. Agapi love. His love. He is love [1 John 4:8]. Strong’s Greek Lexicon defines agape with words such as “affection”, “benevolence”, “dear”, “charity”. Agape love is what made us, what created us, what brought us into being. Agape love is rooted in the very beat of Gods heart; that which keeps the earth suspended and turning in His hand under His attentive, watchful gaze. Agape love encompasses the magnitude of the one God whose thoughts and ways are so high above His creation that His creation should never need fuss, fret or bother but just live knowing in Who’s hand it dwells. Agape love comes to abide in us and keeps His hope of glory alive in us. Agape love patiently, gently conquers our hearts until we all beat in rhythmic synchronicity with the One who saves us.
Us. That would be “…whoever believes in Him…should not perish but have everlasting life.” With Him in Paradise – forever. Unfathomable.
We all must remember to love one another as He first loved us before He even created us, as He has and does down the long road of His story; from before we can even comprehend things starting and coming into being, to beyond an ending of life on this planet as we know it. And, when we don’t, or have trouble, we remember Him, we repent of the inability to love, temporary as it may be, and run back to our first Love. Our heart leaps and presses into His open, waiting arms, and the capacity to love others spills out of us as it overflows from the triune One who knew us and loved us since before anything was.