“I love Seinfeld.”
“I love tacos.”
“I love listening to jazz.”
We often use the word “love” to describe the affection we feel toward a finished work ingenuity or cleverness. We see something that is well-made and call it “good.” In this way, we are like God, who marveled at his creation in the beginning:
In the beginning, God created…and God saw that it was good.Genesis 1:1-10
But God’s love doesn’t stop there. He responds to the enjoyment of something beautiful by surging forward to create yet more marvelous and satisfying things in an unending cycle.
God’s love is an active force, alive and on its feet, producing new and appealing compositions. His love prompts him to produce works of art and write poems; specifically, us.
The word “poem” comes into English directly from the Greek poiema.
You are God’s workmanship (poiema)…Ephesians 2:10
We are God’s crafted poems. We are composed in the ardor of his passion, the passion that renews and sustains all things.
You formed my inward parts, you knit me together in my mother’s womb.Psalm 139: 13
The word “knit” calls to mind the image of a grandmother smiling to herself as she stitches together a scarf for someone she loves, humming a gentle tune as she works. That is the spirit of our origin story: affection, care, intentionality.
When we see a person freshly in love, we may say that she is “glowing.” This is what is meant in the Blessing of Aaron, “The Lord make his face to shine upon you” (Numbers 6:25).
Another person newly in love might find himself possessed by the inexplicable urge to sing, just as God sings songs over us: “He will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
We were created in love, by love, since God is himself is the very essence and epitome of love.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.1 John 4:8
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.1 John 4:12
John is saying that even though God is invisible, he can be seen most clearly through the love Christians show for one another. He’s saying that the love of God radiates through us and finds its fullest, truest expression when we give and receive love; it is then “perfected in us.”
In fact, the night before Jesus died he made a point about love. He could have said so many other things. He could have commented on when communion should be taken, the proper age for baptism, or worship styles. Instead he speaks of love.
By this all people will know you are my disciples, that you love one another.John 13:35
The calling of our own lives is to imitate God by pressing into the very force that brought us into being, returning love back to God and extending it outward to one another.
In other words, the essence of Christianity is this:
God is love. Love writes poems. You are God’s poems. Now go and love.
Heavenly Father, fill me with your loving-kindness so that it overflows to others and reveals your glory to the world.
Make a list of three people to whom you want to show love today. It might be as simple as a text message of encouragement, a handwritten note of affirmation, a small gift, or an act of service.