Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Called To Love

Love is singularly the most ambiguous and divisive concept of man's history. Its evolution and devolution has fueled controversies throughout the ages. In our 'age of enlightenment' we have via many articulate and knowledgeable men misused, overused, underdefined and overdefined the word. The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity states, "Love, the most crucial and central concept in Christian theology and ethics, is one of the most theologically, ethically, psychologically and culturally ambiguous concepts, with diverse interpretations and contradictory definitions."

As Christians we can define love through the words agape, storge, philio and eros all which have etymological limits. Each word is of intrinsic value to the concept of love, but, possibly fail to share the commonality of the concept. Each points to a facet of love which is part of the whole, but, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Eros gives us the aesthetic, passionate and perhaps spiritual aspect.
Philio defines the preferential affection of brotherhood.
Storge highlights the familial, caregiving, compassionate aspect.
Agape is the self-sacrificing, unconditional love.

2 Corinthians 13;14, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the satisfaction of justice, a beneficent gift, only enabled or motivated by love. It is the lovingkindness and goodwill of God. Grace is free, responsive, redemptive and is solely for the recipient. Grace is the embodiment of God's love.

The word used for fellowship in this verse is koinonia. It means communion, participation, 'in common', sharing in the effects of life, being a partaker of a joined life. In essence it is a  more defining expression of love than the words cited earlier. It "... expresses the fellowship-creating drive toward mutuality, the fellowship-fulfilling goal of equality, the fellowship-celebrating joy of community, the fellowship discipline of impartiality ..."

But these too are just words, they must be manifest in action. Unrequited love is an injustice and as previously discussed it creates an unstable environment, where people need to adjust to meet expectations and realities of relationship. The true sense of communion should contain the principles of equal regard, self-sacrifice and mutuality, suggesting that love balances life and relationship.

I will strive to be a better friend. Revelation 1:9, "I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ..."

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