Christmas may be a few weeks away, but there is no denying that everyone is getting into the spirit. Trees are up. Lights of all shapes and sizes abound in the neighborhoods. Malls’ parking lots resemble Tetris at level 50. Elves-on-the-shelves are helping out with parenting playing the role of the “big brother.” But at the center of it all, whether we remember it sometimes or not, is Christ.
John 3:16 (NIV)
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Love is the central part of Christianity. And Christ is the standard bearer of Love. Regardless of how I define love or what attributes I assign to it, in the end of it all, another question comes up: WHY?
I acknowledge it – we live in a broken world and the predominant thought is that Love would save the world and us. Another common thought is that the world is broken because of our sin. The evil entered the world through our sin. But we are also God’s creation. We are made in his image. And God is perfect. God is also big enough to overcome anything.
My mind struggles to reconcile some of the apparent contradictions that arise from all the things I try to believe in all at once. We lift up the Bible to be indisputable and perfect and yet, we modulate its message “to fit our times.” Through it all – I try to build a relationship with God while being totally confused about his nature.
When I read God’s commandment to “seek him with all my soul, heart and mind” – I interpret that as finding the truth for myself regardless of the traditions it may challenge. Truth is the only way. So what is the purpose of love?
God created the world. In Genesis 1:4 – God creates “light” and sees it as “good,” and separates it from “darkness” that does not get a qualifier. Whether this is a reference to good versus evil – I do not know. But if I hold God to be The Creator – he is also the one that creates evil or allows evil to enter the world. The important point here is this. We are Makers. We are Creators. We inherit this quality in our design from the THE CREATOR. And apparently, we inherit the same flaw – the ability to make/do/allow/create evil. No evidence is needed to prove this point – as the history of human race answers it fully.
And this is where Love comes in.
Love is the weapon. Love is the game changer. Love is the only thing God has to fix the world. If he could wipe out evil with the stroke of his hand – he would have. There is no reasonable explanation as to why evil should exist. The only thing that makes sense is that his creation got out of control. We see it in our lives as well. What can bring it back?
When psychologists look at the patterns in lives of criminals – lack of parental love is one of the major contributing factors to the life of evil. Transpose that on the world.
It really is that simple.
God is coming. And the good can triumph over evil. And love is the only thing that can make it happen.
In some ways, everything we do as Christians is about pouring out more love into the world in all the shapes, forms and sizes. And the hope is that we can do it faster than the spread of evil. From mission work to raising our own children, from serving as a greeter to raising funds to help out orphans in Africa, from addiction counseling to kids programs. The list is long. And this love has one true purpose.
To fill up all the empty spaces of the world that would simply leave evil no room to exist.
We are in a race. In a race against the spread of evil.
Question of the week:
How do you see “the purpose of love?”