Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Shape of Love

Another cartoon from the naked pastor:

This is what the naked pastor has to say about this image:

"This guy has just come into the awareness that love is in the air. He’s realized that he is surrounded and sustained by love. He hears love. He thinks love. He speaks love. He breathes love. No, he hasn’t subscribed to any creed. He has just come to know, deep within, that Love, the Blessed, the Beautiful Benediction, is above all, through all, and in all things. It is That from which all things come and That to which all things go. He smiles."

My view is that without love, nothing ultimately makes sense.  Love is the one thing from which everything derives meaning.  Life, the Universe, everything, is suffused with love - but often, although it's all around us, we just don't seem to know where to look for it!

Love though, isn't something that can simply exist in abstract.  Love is always personal - love has to come from someone.  This is what the Bible has to say:

"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him."

Many different religions have many different things to say about God.  Some don't even seem to recognise that love is part of the equation, let alone God's primary and over-arching characteristic! Many people on the other hand are against all religious creeds and doctrines because of their capacity to restrict and divide. I assume this is why, according to the naked pastor, the guy in the picture is creed-free.

Well it's true - you don't need to subscribe to any creed or doctrine to understand, appreciate or show love - and neither do you need me to tell you that!  Love transcends race, culture, class, gender, sexuality.  It will cross any barrier except for those of entrenched pride or selfishness and even then it will not give up until it has exhausted every effort.  But the Bible also has this to say:

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

This isn't a creed (although it's been included in many) but it is a statement which you can choose whether to believe or not.  It's one of those places where God's love becomes concrete and personal - in fact in many ways about as personal as it gets!
Love cannot be confined to a creed, but neither is it nebulous or void.  Love has a shape and to me, Jesus is the shape of Love!

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