April 29

1 John 4:7-21                      “Loving God Means Loving You”

These verses from 1 John 4 contain a full telling of the nature of God, the Son of God, and the Spirit of God – pretty heady, spiritual sounding stuff, I suppose.  These verses also connect God’s nature and being specifically and necessarily to consequences for our community and relational lives.  We’re told in pretty blunt terms: If you say you love God, but you hate your brothers and sisters, you’re a liar.  Loving God requires loving others because loving God requires opening ourselves to God’s loving spirit.  God is love.  We are called to love God not for what we would like God to be, but for who God is – the One who loves us and all others.  When we do this, God lives in us.  And it’s hard, isn’t it?  It’s scary.  If we start with fear, we may never allow ourselves to get to love.  But if we open ourselves to God’s loving presence in our lives, fear is driven away.  How will we support one another in following this commandment?