I’m a bit of a music fan. I really like to listen to music as often as I can, and often have it playing in the background most of the time. I’ve noticed (unsurprisingly) that, as it is Valentine’s Day, the radio has been overflowing with songs about love. The Beatles’ “All you need is love”, Michael Ball’s “Love changes everything” and “Love is all around” by Wet, Wet, Wet.
One would be forgiven for thinking that love really is everywhere and that we live in a utopian world full of nothing but peace and love. However, current events and headline news would have me think the opposite. The news from around the world is often full of discord and hatred. Love would appear to be in such short supply these days!
In Scripture, Jesus set the bar for how we ought to put love into action.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
He also gave us an example of how to love our neighbours, even those we don’t necessarily like or get along with, in His parable of the Good Samaritan.
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:30-37 (NIV)
But not only did Jesus talk about love; He lived it and acted it out. He showed us the Love of God. God, who loved us all so much, that He gave his only Son to die for us that we might live (John 3:16).
As Christians, our love should be the kind of love that rolls up its sleeves. Unless our love is real, unless our love helps to bring about growth and change, unless we put it into practice – then we are failing to display love in action.
So this Valentine’s Day, with the “commercial cards and roses” kind of love promoted by all the card companies, let’s remember that God’s love working in us and through us is not just for one day a year but for every moment of every day, and for every aspect of our life.
Albert Orsborn penned a fitting prayer for every Christian in his hymn, “I Must Love Thee”.
I must love thee, love must rule me,
Springing up and flowing forth
From a childlike heart within me,
Or my work is nothing worth.
Love with passion and with patience,
Love with principle and fire,
Love with heart and mind and utterance,
Serving Christ my one desire.
Head of Donor Care