Let’s talk about the very touchstone of what it means to follow Jesus. It is the thing that radiates from Him and you sense it the moment you get near Him, like the heat and the light of the sun.
Love. Relentless, radiating, radical love.
What a subject love is. Our music sings its praises; among the most popular songs in nearly any genre are love songs. The Beatles told us “All you need is love.” Poet Robert Browning rightly said, “Take away love and our earth is a tomb.” As both a verb and a noun, it is desperately needed.
Mother Teresa once observed, “In the developed countries there is a poverty of intimacy, a poverty of spirit, of loneliness, of lack of love. There is no greater sickness in the world today than that one.”
We as Christians have living inside us the very definition of love, Jesus Christ. We have a corner on the market, the inside scoop, a line to the top. We know the inventor of love.
“God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” (1 John 4:16)
Since God is love, even those who don’t yet know God experience God in this world when they on too rare occasions experience love. Made in the image of God, we humans have a tremendous capacity to love.
We love our families, some love their pets, we love our friends, we love the outdoors, we love our car, we love pizza, we love to go to the movies. We know how to love and we know what love is…or we believe we do.
But what happens in the one who surrenders to Christ is that these imperfect loves come under the tutelage of Perfect Love and the fullness and richness and vigor of true love comes to light.
Love has countless spin-offs, but only one original. And we Christians have the blessing of the real thing.
But we also have the responsibility that comes with having this real thing, this radical love.
Radical love is born only of God and found only in following Jesus.
Radical love remembers the forgotten and the least. It is our call to fill in the cracks and go to the furthest reaches.
Radical love loves extravagantly, to the fullest, the maximum. It follows through. It is not a token affection or dutiful obligation.
Radical love is a powerful agent in showing Jesus to people. This is how they will know we are His disciples, His followers.
Radical love loves the least deserving, our enemies, those who hurt us or others, those who don’t love back.
If we don’t, who will? Who really can…but those who know Love?