This year I have been thinking much about love. It is difficult enough to love one person as we ought to, let alone everyoe else we like, know, and everyone. It is simply beyond our capability and ability as human beings. Our greatest examples of love are those who sacrificed of themselves (or their lives completely) for one or more people. We also look to great romances, but as anyone who has been married, or even dating, for a long time will be able to tell you, it is not always easy. At best two people might be joyful, even if happiness is not always there for various reasons.
So what does it actually look like to properly love the world in the way which is appropriate and necessary? We see that example in the Christmas message. It is not enough to give oneself, nor enough to sacrifice oneself completely. Instead, what we see in the Christmas message, and the whole gospel message, is:
- One gives Oneself (Christmas message)
- One sacrifices Oneself (Jesus's crucifixion)
- One gives Oneself again (the Resurrection)
- One gives to all (the promise of resurrection and eternal life to all who obey)
Only this is sufficient to love the whole world fully and completely. And only this can correctly inspire us human beings—in our limited capacity—to show true love to others as far as we are able.
By this God's love was revealed in us: that God has sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:9–11