What is Love?
See what kind of love the Father has given to us,
that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. - I John 3:1a
Love is the most written (and sung) about emotion, but it is rarely defined. What is love? How do we know it when we see it or feel it? How can you describe it to someone who has never known love? As we approach Valentine’s Day, the day when we focus on love more than any other, I look back to poets and bards of the past to see what they tell us about love. What do you think love is and have these people captured the true essence of the love the Father has for us in Christ Jesus?
“Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you”
- Loretta Young
“Love doesn’t make the world go round; love is what makes the trip worthwhile”
- Franklin Jones
“Love is an act of endless forgiveness; a tender look which becomes a habit.”
- Peter Ustinov
“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit” - Khalil Gibran
“The first duty of love is to listen” - Paul Tillich
“True love is selfless. It is prepared to sacrifice.” - Sadhu Vaswani
“Love is a canvas furnished by nature and embroidered by imagination.”
“I think that the perfection of love is that it’s not perfect.” - Taylor Swift
“Love is three quarters curiosity.” - Giacomo Casanova
“Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.”
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“Love is of all passions the strongest; for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.” - Lao Tzu
“The thing is that love gives us a ringside seat on somebody else’s flaws, so of course you’re going to see some things that kinda need to be mentioned. But the romantic view is to say, ‘If you loved me, you wouldn’t criticize,’ actually, true love is about trying to teach someone to be the best version of themselves.”
- Alain de Botton
“With love you should go ahead and take the risk of getting hurt.” - B Spears
“A man in love is incomplete until he marries. Then he’s finished.”
- Zsa Zsa Gabor
“Love is the only force capable of transforming and enemy into a friend”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
“Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is.”
- Hans Urs von Balthasar
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” - Elie Weisel
“Love is a serious mental disease” - Plato
“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by fear of punishment, the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one based on fear of punishment.” - Mahatma Ghandi
“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy or boast, it is not arrogant. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” - St. Paul to the Corinthians
So what is love, and how do we receive it and give it away? As we begin our journey through the Lenten season, we’ll be looking at the different aspects of love. On Tuesday nights at Our Savior, Stanhope we’ll look at God’s love expressed to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord. On Wednesday nights on Zoom, we’ll look at the five love languages and how we can become multi-lingual in showing love to those around us. I hope you’ll join us as we embark on a journey of love over the next 7 weeks.
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Pastor Brian Handrich graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in 1997. He first served a dual parish in northeast Nebraska before coming to Flemington, New Jersey in 2002.