7th Sunday of Easter; Year B
1 John 4:11-16
My dear people, since God has loved us so much, we too should love one another. No one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another God will live in us and his love will be complete in us. We can know that we are living in him and he is living in us because he lets us share his Spirit. We ourselves saw and we testify that the Father sent his Son as saviour of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him, and he in God. We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him.
As you may have noticed over the Easter period (where Paul’s letters have been absent), John’s 1st letter focus heavily on Love – both God’s love for us and our duty to love each other, and who both these things aren’t that different. We’ve looked at this, both in previous reflection on the 2nd Readings, and in Father Benneth’s Homily from last week.
So, instead – I want us to consdier a seemingly unimportant connecting line: “No one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another God will live in us and his love will be complete in us. We can know that we are living in him and he is living in us because he lets us share his Spirit“.
God is Love. But Love, as has been discussed before, is not a passive event, but an action. It requries both a do’er and a do’ee; someone who loves and someone to be loved. This is the beginning of the Trinity. God is Three disinct Persons in one united God – God the Father is the 1st Lover; the Son (who would be sent to us as Jesus Christ) the Beloved; and the Holy Spirit the force of Love that flows between them. Love is the essential idenity of God.
So just as we cannot see wind, but can see the effects of Wind in the world; so too with God. We cannot see God, but we see the effects of God in the world, and in us. The strongest, surest of them is Love. When we love another – unconditionally, for their own sake – we act as God the Father; when we recieve love and consolation from another – we act as God the Son; and when we embody both of these, when we love one another and let love flow between us – we embody the Spirit.
The surest sign of God’s presence is love. We do not worship a Loving God, we worship a God of Love.