It may seem to some the most logical place to start: God is love!
This it is what I was taught as I took my first stumbling steps as a Christian. I was also taught that the bible is a love letter from god. This, however, struck me as a bit odd given the strangeness of some parts of the bible. Also the gospel as I was taught it was not entirely loving rather than being the good news, it seemed to me to be rather bad news for most people I know.
Yet the most cited verse of the new testament is John 3.16 “For God so loved the world” (theos agapeo cosmos), it seems to me that when you shed the externals of organised religion and “What we have always taught and thought”, what remains is a core that is love.
I belong to no religion. My religion is love. Every heart is my temple
Scripture tells us that if we love god and love our neighbour as ourselves we fulfil all of the law and the prophets, furthermore it tells us that we, as Christians should be known for our love towards each other (I intentionally read this as our love for all human beings as opposed to the sectarian, love for those who think and act like us) and Jesus says that a man who says he loves god but does not love his brother does not know god.
It seems to me that love is the core of the Christian message and being in love is the fundamental Christian practice (abide in me) and the love that we feel, share and saturate ourselves in actually is the very essence of god.
It seems logical then that love becomes the rule, the measure of all things, as if one could measure love. In practice this means that at any given moment, in any given place rather than the worn out “WWJD” maybe we need to ask “WWLD” or what is the loving response to this particular situation. What is the greater good that the divine eros/agape/phileo is calling out in this moment?
Living life according to the love priority as expressed by Jesus is therefore, in my opinion the core of the Christian message. Living in love (which means both understanding and accepting that I am loved and secondly letting that love extend to the people around me) becomes central to living a Christian life, if there is such a thing.
This focus on love is sometimes caricatured as “cheap grace” and while it may be true that this focus on loving others does not require anything of the other, it is extremely costly and requires everything from oneself. I know I have written this before, but I think that it needs ample repetition: There is nothing cheap about grace.
We simply must: Let love rule!
Life is my religion. Being alive is my daily spiritual practice. Love is my rule. Humankind is my family. Authentic friendships is my church. The kingdom of god runs through my veins. Jesus is my brother. Becoming and being all that I am is my calling. Helping you become and be all that you are is my ministry. My deepest feelings is my guide. All living things are my teacher.