Reflections on Lent | Love | 1 John 3.18 |

by | Mar 25, 2022

[The inspiration for these reflections are adapted from PAUSES FOR LENT: 40 Words for 40 Days, Copyright © 2015 by Rev. Trevor Hudson by Upper Room Books Nashville. Both the selected Scripture and theme and initial paragraph in quotes are from Hudson.]

“Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” 1 John 3:18

“We often think of love as a certain kind of feeling. But if we wait for loving feelings, we may never get around to actually loving. On the other hand, when we perform a loving deed, the loving feelings often come along as well. Lent invites us to practice loving. God passionately loves us…” (Hudson).

According to the 1955 movie bearing it’s name, Love is A Many-Splendored Thing, “love” is what it’s all about. I was too young to see the movie upon it’s release but have heard that catch phrase my whole life. From the movie, songs followed made famous by greats such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Andy Williams. Even a soap opera inspired from the movie took off. But my interest is less about the movie or the song, but more with the obsession people have with the topic of love. Love is the most powerful human emotion on the planet and the greatest gift to us from God.

Hudson writes about love during the season of Lent. He suggests one way to experience those loving feelings in our lives is to practice loving others. 1 John 3.18 in essence says the same thing — “Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” In addition, as others have said ”Love is a verb.” Love is not only an emotion to be received but rather one to be given.

And the Bible says, “God is love” (1 John 4.16). Which means we could make the argument for God’s presence in every loving act. Be it affection between a married couple, to a generous gift for someone in need. Love is to be given away with both generosity and thoughtfulness. And it’s in the giving, that we receive love in return.

Yet the greatest demonstration of God’s love toward humanity is in the giving of his son Jesus Christ. The birth, life, suffering, death and resurrection of Christ shows God’s love toward. Greater love has no one than this, Jesus says, than to lay down ones life for ones friends.

In this Lenten season, should we desire to feel loved by others and God, let me first suggest we begin with loving God and others through our actions, our intentions and our will. Might we consider giving our hearts to Christ in return for what he has given to us? Might we then encounter the power of the Holy Spirit thriving in our bodies and moving in our minds? Might then love come down to fully capture us — body, mind and soul?

What are we waiting for as we walk towards Resurrection Sunday? How can we love others? How can we love God and thus become his hands and feet to a world looking for love?

“O Lord God, you are love. The hope I feel in the Cross is love. The desire I experience to know you better is love. The powerful saving moment of forgiveness, redemption and salvation all comes through your love. Come now, Holy Spirit, capture us completely. Secure us in the foundation of your plan that we might know you now and walk with you for eternity. I do love you Lord, thank you for how you made and created me. Allow me to be your person and for me to find hope in your hands. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen