As soon as you say the words: god is love, some people make a face and sigh. The notion is that when you speak about god as love and when you talk about grace, it is a sign that you have gone soft. Implying that you have compromised the “high standards” of Christian living and the aspiration to holiness.
But there it is, one of the few propositional statements about god that the bible actually provides: GOD IS LOVE!
And the funny thing is it doesn’t stop there, the bible then goes on to encourage us to live a life immersed in love, loving one another which includes loving our enemies. The bible states that this is the sign (sacrament, incarnation, gospel) how much we love one another. The bible then takes a step further when it says “be perfect” (perfected in love) like god. So how are we to be like Jesus, like god? The “biblical” answer is love! Love God! Love your Neighbour! Even love yourself! Love EVERYONE. Be love, like god is love!
We need to start with the monolove, to love ourselves, which I think will only happen when we realise that we are loved and when we accept that we are loved, acceptable, holy. Then we extend to polylove, loving many, to love yourself, god and others people outside your own little sphere. The final challenge however is to be like god omnilove to love all. To see the divine in all. To be love!
Now anyone who thinks this is a compromise, a cop-out, easy?! cannot be living with real people in the same reality that I live in. There is nothing soft about love or grace, it is uncomfortable, hard and challenging every step of the way.