Love

Love is our big touch stone to God, since for all of us in the end, it is “love that makes the world go round”, and “God is love.”

Whether “agape” (self-sacrificial love), or “philios” (family and friend companionship) , love always is about being willing and able to identify with the other – and to think, feel and act in terms of we and what’s best for us, not in terms of the individualistic me.   [Perhaps “eros” love (love of the different other?) retains a sense of separateness but, in sinless balance, is subordinated to ‘agape’).

The account of Adam and Eve in the garden is the genesis of a universal individualistic streak in humanity, which leads to alienation, wickedness and death.  First Eve acted unilaterally of Adam, then Adam acted unilaterally of God, then they realised that each had acted unilaterally for their own individual interests and that each knew the other had done so.  Here not only is shame of themselves but distrust of the other.  Genesis 3:7 has it that “their eyes were opened” (they wizened up?) and “they knew they were naked” (they felt vulnerable?) and sewed on fig leaves to cover themselves (blunt their awareness of their sense of shame & vulnerability?).

When we are not immersed in the love of God, we depend instead on our ability to calculate, manipulate and justify to our own individualised advantage.  Of course, such selfishness and deceit is offensive to others and this lack of love is the chief reason we hide and lie to each other, to God, and indeed to our own selves.

The Gospel, when we believe it, makes us truly loving.  Thus it frees us to be open with others.

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