Friday, February 19, 2010

God is Love, Period.

I’ve sometimes thought it might be a good idea to go through all our religious literature and cross out the word, “God” and substitute, “Love.” But then again, that might mislead people who have wholly inadequate notions of Love and similar notions of God, so that for them, “God has got to be more than that!” Or, “Yes, God is love, but that is not the whole story.”

Well, it is the whole story. God is Love. Is God nothing else besides? Is He not, for example, also Just?

He is, but the question assumes that justice and Love are two different things. For us human beings, in our fallen state, they indeed often are two things, but in God they are one because they are perfect, and nothing is “just” unless it is an expression, an application, of Love. That is why Justice, for God, requires not punishment, but restoration.

God is also Truth, but there is nothing true that is not Love. Neither is there anything good, nor worthy, nor mighty, nor creative, nor beautiful, nor immortal, nor all-knowing, that is anything different from Love. Love is that beside which there is none other.

So I was relieved and grateful to find this in Olivier Clement’s book, On Human Being: A Spiritual Anthropology, page 43. The author is discussing how communion in God on the one hand doesn’t destroy our unique personhood, but affirms it, yet on the other hand, does not admit of any separation or duality:

Personal existence has a ‘vertical’ dimension, a desire to be plunged into the fullness of God. And this fullness is not a solitude but an ocean already alive with the movement of infinite love. The depth is not an unrelieved gloom; it contains reciprocal activity, interchange, the presence of the other, while duality is avoided in the communion of the Three in One. The depth itself suggests the inexhaustible character of the Persons and of their love. We can now say boldly, ‘God is love’, without fear of blaspheming by appearing to trivialize.

So maybe it wouldn't be all that bad to cross out "God" and write in, "Love."

And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD LOVE smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that [was] in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

Now THAT would give us a lot to think about, wouldn't it?  And yet, this is how we must learn somehow to interpret the passage.

The letters in the "spokes" of Christ's halo say, in Greek, He Who Is, recalling God's Name as revealed to Moses: YAHWEH, I am the 'I am'.  Here, crowned with thorns, is Yahweh.


Thesauros said...

thank you for this post. there have been so many find posts this morning and yours is an example of that. God Bless - See you there!