What is love? (no definition here)1
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
- 1 John 3:16a
We’re going to be camping out in this one-half of a verse all week. And there’s more than enough to occupy our attention here.
Let’s start with “love.” What is love?
“All you need is love. Love is all you need …”
“What is love? Baby, don’t hurt me …”
“Love will keep us together …”
“What’s love got to do with it? It’s just a second-hand emotion …”
“Stop, in the name of love, before you” overdue this illustration.
Our valuation of love can vary as widely as our definitions of it. The stoic and rational among us may dismiss love as a silly feeling. The romantic and passionate among us may elevate love beyond everything else imaginable. What is real?
We pick up images of love from film, friendships, and fairy tales. Our poetry and music are full of love. But we pack so, so much into that one word. We love our lovers but also macaroni and cheese. We love God and coffee. We fall in love, make love, give our love, start the match at love-love, and love it instead of list it. That word has a lot of layers, doesn’t it, Love?
Sorry, we shouldn’t have called you “Love.” We just got caught up in the moment.
As we start the week off, take a few minutes to search your own mind and experiences. How would you describe “love” to an alien visitor? What definitions might you use? Where do your descriptions and definitions come from?