This is what I command you: Love one another.
Our love for one another follows a command. We are commanded to love. We don’t tend to think of love in such terms. Our view of love is squishy, fuzzy, warm and spontaneous. Our eyes meet, our hearts are unexpectedly joined and we ‘feel’ love or so we think. Real love requires intention and obedience. We must obediently choose to love. Christ commands us to love. It is not some inward feeling for another that arises spontaneously and flows out. Love requires resolve, commitment, faithfulness and courage. To love is to intentionally open oneself to another in an extremely vulnerable way.
True love takes time and grows because those who follow Christ are choosing to continue to love. The good things to which we commit ourselves grow better and stronger over time but this does not necessarily mean that they get easier. Jesus obedience to His Father’s will; i.e. His love, didn’t get easier or require less of Him as time passed. Frighteningly enough it appears to have grown more difficult and more demanding. Yet, He loved His Father and thus His commitment, courage, resolve and faithfulness grew over time even in the face of terrible humiliation and suffering.
Love is a command. Love is a decision. Love is the greatest virtue and will last into all of eternity. Participating in a truly spiritual, godly relationship requires love. God has existed in a loving relationship within the Godhead from eternity and will exist in this relationship into eternity. God is love and the Trinity perfectly exemplifies what it means to love. It is the greatest command because it carries the greatest weight – the weight of eternity.
Help us to truly love one another, Holy Spirit, so that we can be obedient to Christ’s command.