Today’s reading was 1 Peter 1:22-25
2 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.
The first verse here takes an unexpected twist. You would think it would say that as a result of purifying ourselves by obeying the truth, we have sincere love for God, but that’s not what it says. It says we have sincere love for each other.
It goes on to command us to love one another “deeply, from the heart.” The original Greek word here has the sense of “unremittingly” which means, according to Dictionary.com, “Not slackening or abating; incessant.”
This is a love that won’t give up. A love that doesn’t only love you when you are up, but picks you up when you are down. A love that doesn’t just reciprocate, but initiates. A love that is unstoppable, unbreakable, unceasing. A love that exudes patience, that refuses to despair, that continues to hope, that offers a helping hand.
I expect each of us have someone in our life who needs a love like that. The problem is, that our human resources are quickly depleted loving like this. It takes divine input, divine empowering, the love of God ministered through us, rather than engendered from our own meager resources or willpower.
The phrase, “You may be the only Bible someone ever reads” is a cliché, but like all good clichés has a great measure of truth to it. If someone were to look at us, and how we love, and extrapolate from that the character of God, and what his love is like, how would it rate?
The last part of the reading draws a contrast between the seeming brevity of life on earth, “All people are like grass…the grass withers and the flowers fall” and the imperishable, eternal nature of those who have trusted in God. We have but brief years to love on this earth.
One day the Lord Jesus will return and take his own to himself. Let’s make sure we don’t come empty handed, but clutching the hands of those who we have loved with a fierce and desperate love, so that they have understood the love of God for themselves.