Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Greatest Love Story Ever Written

What is the greatest love story of all-time? If you were to ask this question on the streets, you probably would get a variety of answers like Romeo & Juliet or Gone With The Wind. These are great stories filled with romance but all pale in comparison to the greatest love story of all-time: The Holy Bible.

Why is the Holy Bible the greatest love story ever written? Just read it. God is love (1 John 4:8). Every scripture of the bible, if it were broken down like a molecular structure into atoms, the atoms would all reveal love.

But what makes The Holy Bible the greatest love story is that it is non-fiction and contains the greatest and highest examples of love: philia love (brotherly love, the love between friends as Jesus had with His Apostles) and agape love (the unconditional, selfless type of true love).

And if you like steamy romance novels...

  • "My lover thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him."
  • “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love is more delightful than wine.”

  • “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.”

These quotes didn’t come from Romeo & Juliet or some Harlequin romance novel, they are found in your very own Holy Bible in Song of Songs/Song of Solomon.

  • Song of Solomon 1:13: “My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts.”

  • Song of Solomon 4:5: “Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies.

No, those weren’t references to the Bosom of Abraham. As Pope Benedict XVI states in his 1st Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (Latin for "God is Love") and something every Christian should read:

“According to the interpretation generally held today, the poems contained in this book were originally love-songs, perhaps intended for a Jewish wedding feast and meant to exalt conjugal love.’

God’s Love For Us

More importantly than romantic love, is God's love for us. God sent his son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sins and so that he could understand our pain and suffering. As sinners we are not worthy, but this is proof of God's love. grace and mercy:

  • 1 John 4:7 : You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Ephesians 2:4-5: But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Love Is A Choice, Be Pro-Love

Whether is it loving our spouses, loving God or loving our neighbor as ourselves, they are all the same in God's eyes and Love is a choice. God gave us free will. We choose to love our spouses as Christ loves us and be committed to them until death do us part or we dishonor God's commands "I hate divorce."

In loving our neighbors, we choose to help our friends and the less fortunate or we ignore Jesus’s teaching and life on earth. In our relationship with God, we choose either good or evil, lightness over darkness, or eternal life vs. death.

I can't help but think of the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice issue here. As Christians, Jesus calls us very clearly to be Pro-Love. Love the unborn by voting in leaders who will end this needless homicide and love those who were troubled and misled into having an abortion.

Jesus said to his disciples John 15:11-19:

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other."

Jesus didn't say to love one another only if they think like you, look like you, dress like you, or only if they are a nice person or if you know them well.

In fact, Jesus even tells us to love our enemies:

  • Luke 6:27-28: But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

  • Luke 6:32-33: If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that.

Our goal and purpose in Life

God is love and he wants us to have an eyelash-to-eyelash relationship with him. We can only achieve this through faith plus love. We must love & forgive again, and again, and again… as God loves us and as Jesus Christ demonstrated for us.

As Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, “How can you love the one you cannot see, if you don’t love the one you can see?”

If you don’t know what your purpose in life is, it is to love God and all in his Kingdom on earth and to strive for eternal life.

As Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said: “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”

As for those who subscribe to Sola Scriptura, remember that Jesus Christ never wrote a book while on this earth. He taught orally, yet he authored the greatest love story through His actions. We need to read the book, know the book, but most importantly, we need to live the book—the book of love. As the old saying goes, "You may be the only bible someone ever reads or the only Jesus someone sees."

Unlike Clark Gable’s Gone With The Wind character, the line in the script of our life should be “Frankly, my dear, I do give a damn.”

So, it should be quite clear, our challenge—every day—while on this earth... is to author our own great love story.

I love you

© Michael J. Cox

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