‘Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.’
Every soul is searching, wandering the earth seeking love and acceptance. Deep down in our bones is the need to be seen for who we really are, and then embraced with love’s accepting arms. We hope to find love’s refreshing drink flowing from lovers, friends, family, and children. There are moments when their love feels close to what we long for, but the moments are fleeting and the drink but a sip. Meanwhile, every person we interact with holds their own thirsty cup up to us, begging for a drink of true love.
The best news for this thirsty world of souls is that God is love, an everlasting, unquenchable fountain of love. Once a human soul turns away from the trickles of love found from others and instead turns to God, they are fully satisfied. That soul’s new challenge is to not forget the source that they have found. To that person, John gives a challenge in this text. The challenge is to love like God loves. Once the cistern of our soul has been filled to the point of overflowing, we no longer need to roam the earth seeking love. Instead we can turn to the thirsty souls around us and begin to fill their cups in the name of Jesus.
We have the unique calling to embody Jesus for the world around us. Theologians call this incarnation. When God becomes a human in Jesus, he was Incarnate. As loved children of God, we can reincarnate God for the world. Our hands, feet and voices, saturated in love, can love without a selfish appetite to receive it back from others. The text says, “no one has ever seen God.” Yet, if we are connected to his love, we begin to manifest God in the world. That is how people see God and discover for themselves the fountain of his love. It is through us that love’s source is found. How have you loved this week? Is it a challenge to love others around you? Maybe you have not gone to the stream of love recently. Today as you celebrate Thanksgiving, meditate on the love of God for you. Once you are filled up, go through your day showing love to every thirsty soul you see.
By Aaron Bjorklund