This past week four friends of mine were called home to heaven, it's been sad for us, but we rest assured in their presence before the Lord, resting in His peace. We shall miss them, but we entrust them into God's continuing care.
So to, Greg Foster, Joyce Barnes, Beth Belden and Roger Williams I say God keep you until we meet again. For therein is our hope, peace and joy.
As I have been traveling to help my brother Rick who had a hip replaced, I have been reading Gordon T. Smith's great book, Called to be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity. One chapter, among others, deals with the topic of "Love." As I was musing over his thoughts I thought about why we love. Of course it finds its foundation in God's triune nature and character of love. As the Apostle John reminds us, "God is love" (1 John 4:7-9)
My thought was , in light of my heightened sensitivity to love through the loss of those I have loved, We were created to bear the Image of God, who is love. I need to be loved (be not alone as Genesis 2 reminds us) for I was created for love. I was created to be loved. God created us not just He lacked something to do, or needed to create, but because being Love He desired to create that which He could express His perfect love. We were created for love, that love whish first receives from God, then loves others and is loved in return,
This contemplation of God's love and our love for others, (Matthew 22:37-40) and being away from my family at home caused me to ponder familial love which I believe has a direct relationship between God's love for us, our love for God and for neighbor.
In my journal I wrote,
"We marry so we can love and be loved. We have kids so we can love more. We desire grandkids so we can love even more and in the process we hope to be loved more. The basic motivation for procreation therefore, is not just to create and repopulate, but rather it is to love more. If we marry only to be loved then we short-circuit the design. This is the model we find in the triune loving God -- He created so to love -- it's His nature, and He loves it (is worshiped) when He sees us seek to make the circle complete."
To love opens us up to loss, but to not love, to not seek to create those relationships that allow us to love, and possibly be loved in return, steals from us some of very Image-bearing that we hold has Abba God's beloved.
Therefore, let us love, for He first loved us.