V 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
You may feel John is going on a bit about this idea of love, and indeed he is because it is so fundamental to understanding the Christian life as reflecting the character of the Trinity. V 8 could not be clearer: ‘But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.’
So let’s get practical as we near the end of this precious little letter. How are you reflecting this attribute of the Trinity in the mess and muck of life today?
Will you speak it in the presence of the off-hand or rude shop assistant?
Or will you retaliate with a sharp barb that demands attention?
Will you think it in the face of the inconsiderate driver who cuts you up?
Or will you pull back a little and let him in?
Will you demonstrate it to the timid child who is being bullied?
Or will you intervene at the risk of being misunderstood?
Will you feel it for the lonely and forgetful elderly woman in the queue?
Or will you offer to carry her bag and help her on her way?
All through the day today you will be faced with a thousand and one little choices of this kind. When love motivates you, that love will rise to the surface as the appropriate response to the need of another.
Love will be the air you exhale, – and it will be the aroma of Christ in a world that stinks with selfishness and greed.