Because Of This Great Love, Sin And Death Were Conquered Forever!
“Amor vincit omnia!” Love conquers all. It is an aphorism expressed in literature from Virgil to Chaucer. Though it is usually used in the romantic sense, it point to a truth that is expressed in both the Hebrew and the Christian testaments of the Bible. For Jews it is expressed in the Shema: Hear O, Israel, The Lord your God is One. And you shall love your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) For Christians it is expressed this way: “MY command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
We believe that God’s act of creation was, and remains, an act of love. He freed his people from the slavery of Egypt out of his love for them. He sent his prophets to bring his people back to him out of love. We believe that he sent his only begotten Son into the world because of his love. We also believe that Jesus died for us, out of his infinite and abiding love for us. And we believe that because of this love, sin and death were conquered once and for all, forever.
John, in this same chapter of his First Letter, also tells us that the very nature of God is love. He says: “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (verses 7-8) Love (God) is at the center, then, of all creation. We believe, as John tells us at the beginning of his Gospel, that Jesus is the Word (Love) through whom all things came to be. This means that our very being, and the being of all that is, has its origins in love. This same love is the force that sustains everything in the universe, especially us. Nothing is greater than this God who is love. This is why we can say in truth that, Love conquers all. “And perfect love casts out all fear.”
We are challenge here to bring that awareness and its purpose into our own lives. It is love that makes it possible for us to form and sustain community. It is the core of marriage and parenthood. It is love that gives us the reason and the power to rise above our fears and to forgive one another. It is love that binds and heals the wounds caused by the acts of others who momentarily defy love. Only love can conquer the hate with fearlessness. Reconciliation is only possible when we love the other more than the injury. It is love that helps us to see the value of the other, even when they do not see it in themselves. Why? Because God is in this love.
Lord, because we have known love in our lives, we know that your are love. Help us to grow in our capacity and our ability to love one another as you have loved us. You have made us in love. Where there is no love, where fears dominate, strengthen us to be your fearless love in the lives of those who so desperately need to come to know you. We pray this in your name, Jesus. Amen!
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