Read 1 John 4:19
19 We love because he first loved us. (NRSV)
Love is the supreme challenge and greatest privilege of us human beings. To love is the task for which all other tasks are but preparation. This can cause problems. Jesus’ followers are commanded to love God and one another. But our ingrained egocentricity makes it hard. We can summons up a bit of liking, a few warm feelings, and an occasional selfless act, but a consistent life of love seems out of reach.
This brief text provides some hope for us who struggle to truly love God and others. Our love is somehow a reflection of God’s love for us. His love for us is the primary reality and apparently is the love we give back to him and pass on to others. We do not summons up love from our own meagre resources but borrow the love God pours into us and be conveyors of it.
Deep reflection on the life and death of Jesus can help us appreciate the depth of love God has for us and so help us pass it on to others and give it back to God himself. Love comes to us not by trying so very hard to feel loving, but by thankfully remembering the love we have been given through Jesus. So our greatest challenge in love is not that we don’t love God and others enough, but that we don’t realise just how much God loves us.
Those who know they are greatly loved are most likely to show great love.