As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Mary just didn’t feel Mike’s love. No matter how he tried to reassure her that he loved her, she just didn’t feel it. The fact was Mike didn’t love her. His claims to do so were only a cover up for his affair with a woman with whom he worked.
Tom didn’t feel Sarah’s love. No matter what Sarah said or did, he was unmoved. He was sure she had no respect for him, and didn’t really care if he came or went. Sarah, however, did love Tom. He couldn’t see that because his picture of love was misshapen by the terrible experiences he had when his mom and dad had divorced. He could never shake the feelings of insecurity he had from the age of 10 years, when that had happened. So he hardened his heart, and he never even knew it.
Josh kept forgiving Mary. Time after time, she betrayed him. Again and again he would forgive her. She would sneak off for clandestine affairs with nameless men. He would take her back She would betray his secrets to her friends. He would forgive her.
Love is a mysterious thing, moving people to do outlandish things. But nothing is more outlandish than what Jesus did. He died for the sins of the world. He embraced the wrath of God by his death on the cross. He did that because he loved us and his Father who sent him on that rescue mission 2000 years ago.
We are called to abide in that love; to live in the atmosphere of kindness, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and sacrifice. That means we forgive again and again. That means we embrace even the unlovable with Christ’s love. That means we honor God by living according to his law. Those things don’t engender God’s love; they reflect it. Those things don’t make God love us, the prove that we have embraced his love for us. That is our calling. That is our place: right in the center of God’s love.