May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 1 Thessalonians 3.12
“Love is all you need….” Memorable lyrics from the Beatles that started rattling through my mind when I saw this verse. What kind of love, though? Maybe the sentimental, the erotic, or the bond of strong friendship? Not quite. That 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love? Yes. The love that comes from God that can increase and overflow. Love that sacrifices, serves and loses for the other. Receiving the love of God and participating in that love for others – spouse, friend, neighbor and enemy.
Is this divine love all we need? Yes, as long it is the divine love. Love can be seen in many ways. Not all that claims to be love is rooted in the divine, however. We claim to believe in love but do not put it in practice. We affirm to love our neighbor as our self but it never reaches the neighbor. Human attempts at love will falter and fail unless rooted in the humanity of God in Christ Jesus. God’s love is not some abstract concept removed from the world. That love put on human flesh, lived that love, died and rose again for us and the world. An eternal love that is ever so near….
The love of God revealed in Christ is a necessity. Without that love, the possibilities before us through creation, in freedom and in responsibility would come to nothing. Not an absurd, meaningless and senseless world, but nothing. We all need the love of God, whether we realize it or not. The alternative is frightening and hopeless, death. Yet we can face death (and how can we not?) filled with faith, hope and most of all love. A love that transforms death and ushers in the new creation. God’s love is over all and His love never fails.