4 January 2024 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide


There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19We love him, because he first loved us.”

(1 John 4:18-19; all scripture quoted is from the Authorized King James Bible)


My favorite of the Apostles is St. John – not because the others are lacking power and truth, but because John couches all his writings in love; thus, he is known as the apostle of Love. “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23) It was not so that Jesus loved the others less, but that He had a particular affection for John being the most youthful of the Apostles.

The lectionary reading for the day comes from this 4th chapter of the 1st Epistle of John. Just as a newborn baby must learn to love its mother who loved him first, so does the chosen of God must learn to love the One who loved him first – even before his conception.

The love of God is a deep mystery deeper and as unfathomable as the depths of the Mariana Trench of the mighty Pacific Ocean. Though the mortal believer is recipient of that abundant Fountain of Love, he can, in no wise, achieve its magnitude or grasp it. Here is an excerpt (3rd stanza) of an old hymn found scribbled on the walls of an insane asylum centuries ago that best describes the love of God:

3 Could we with ink the ocean fill,
and were the skies of parchment made;
were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill,
and ev’ryone a scribe by trade;
to write the love of God above
would drain the ocean dry;
nor could the scroll contain the whole,
though stretched from sky to sky.

             There is no earthly yardstick by which we can measure that infinite love that descends from God in Heaven: “17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”  (Ephesians 3:17-19)

The greatest possible concept we can have of that love is the Incarnation of God’s only Begotten Son who condescended to be born in a world of cold hatred for His Father, and ours, to suffer the same outrageous fortune of which humankind is heir from Adam until today.

The nature of God as the eternal Fountian of Love should loom as huge in our minds as His nature as a Creator who showers that love on His Creation. Our love for God, and for our neighbors, is a measure of who we are as Christians. We take great umbrage at the least offenses of others while viewing our own greater offenses with the vision of a mole.

As I have often written in the past, and will continue in the future, by the grace of God, our love is not our own making or possession – it is merely a reflection of that love with which God has loved us first. It is an echo in the same manner in which we of faith are all reflections of the Light of God which is Truth. It is the Truth of God that sets us free from the bondage of sin and death.  “ . . . ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:32) It is our obligation to share the Love of God in the same way we are responsible to propagate the truth of the Gospel to the world.

And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
(1 John 4:21)

By |2024-01-04T20:02:37+00:00January 4th, 2024|Blog|Comments Off on HOW CAN WE LOVE GOD?

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