Love Like God

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.” He then commands them to “love one another as I love you.”

If we put those two statements together, Jesus’ instruction is that we love like God loves. So it is worth thinking about what that means.

We can say a lot of things about God’s love. God loves unconditionally. God loves universally. God loves endlessly. That itself asks a lot of us: to love everyone as fully and unconditionally as God does.

But I don’t think even that fully capture it. The First Letter of John tells us that “God is love.” It doesn’t say God loves, but that God is love. That says to me that we are not asked simply to love.

Rather loving like God means being love. Not just showing love. Not just loving sometimes. But emptying ourselves of everything that is not love. That is a pretty tall order, but it is what Jesus asks of us.