Love is everything
Not only does Paul give Epaphras a good reference, he also brings good news of the people of Colossae: 8He’s the one who told us how thoroughly love had been worked into your lives by the Spirit.
Simple, but saying a whole lot. They really expressed their love for one another in the way they lived. A young congregation that understood exactly what the Gospel was all about. Love. If we can live love, everything works the way it should. Then harmony reigns and we give one another space. Then we won’t snap at one another, only wanting more and more for ourselves.
I wish we could do the same. I wish we could live love in such a way that there will be harmony. Unfortunately, that is not what I see around me. If I had to testify about the people of my town, I won’t have such a beautiful testimony.
How did the people of Colossae do it? I suspect they knew what it was to surrender to the Holy Spirit. They knew what it meant to give the Holy Spirit the space and opportunity to take over their lives. They lived under the control and management of the Holy Spirit. The net effect of this is love. The result is actions that stem from love and that really make a difference.
Ella taught me something about love:
After being married for 39 years, my husband died after 40 days in intensive care in the hospital. I could never cry, because I know the Lord, and strangely enough, last night before I went to bed, I took my book of one minute reflections and randomly read daily messages from different months in the little book.
And amazingly I opened the book at 30 November “Love is immortal,” love never dies.
And all the time while my husband was in hospital I kept ensuring him that I loved him, and every time that I had to return home or go to work after visiting hours, he held onto my hand, not wanting me to go. Every time I ensured him that he was not alone in that hospital, that I was leaving him with Jesus, and that nothing would happen before I got back. And that I would stay with him as long as he needed me. Which is what I did right until the end.
Love conquers the pain of death – and for us God’s love will anyway conquer death. The climax of our earthly lives is when we discover the love that wipes away the fear of death.
Love is the one big thing that makes us believe in immortality. God is immortal and God is love; therefore, love is immortal.
Now I understand why I couldn’t cry; it was because I loved him so much that I could even let him go to God.
Ella allowed the Holy Spirit to take over. She lives love, but even more she understands how love works. How beautiful are these words: Love conquers the pain of death. Love is immortal.
May you and I make more space for the Holy Spirit, because then love will surely surround us. Then we’ll be able to be calm amidst a major crisis. Then we’ll make a difference, because that is what love does.
How much love surrounds you?
How much space does the Holy Spirit take up?
Father, I need love so much. Our world needs your love so much. May You work in and through us through your Spirit, so that love can become visible in the world. Amen.