Throwback Thursday: God is Love

I’ve been writing about love recently, turns out I was doing last year as well.
19th May 2022

God is love.
Love isn’t something God does, it’s what God is.
God isn’t “loving” God is love itself.

Without God, love does not exist. God is that intangible, wonderful force that, really when you think about it, as cliched as it sounds, holds all things together.

Just for a minute think about the impact love has on humanity: I don’t just mean the romantic kind. Would Van Gogh have painted starry night had he not loved the night sky so much? Would Paul McCartney have written ‘Hey Jude’ if he hadn’t had love for his friend’s son? What would Shakespeare’s work be without the love and loss of his son Hamnet? Would Martin Luther King have had a dream if it weren’t a dream for his children? Would Shah Jahan have had the Taj Mahal built if it were not for the love of his wife? Would Isaac Newton have embarked upon any scientific endeavours if it were not for his love of God’s creation? Would Mozart have ever played a piano were it not for his love of music?

Love is everything. It is at the core of all our relationships, all our motivations, inspirations and every positive behaviour. Without love we would be nothing, we would have nothing good.

God is love.
And thus
Love is God.

That’s what John says: “anyone who has known love has known God, anyone who has not known love has not known God”

Wherever there is love, there is God.

‘Agape’ the Greek word used to describe love in the bible is not some love separate from other forms of love, it means “universal love.” It is all encompassing, agape is there in our love for our children, it’s there in our love for our friends, it’s there in the compassion we feel when we see pictures on the news of faraway strangers having their lives devastated by war or famine, or the warmth we get when someone smiles at us as they walk past us in the street. It’s there in our deep passionate encounters and our romances. Love may take many forms, but the word love as referred to in the bible; the all-encompassing ‘agape’ love that is God, is at the root of all love, of all justice, of all that is lovely and good and holy and pure.

Buddhists believe in the concept of Chi. Chi is your life force, it is the energy that flows through you and through everything. Pagans believe the divine exists in all things. And if God is Love then God does flow in and around us, God does exist in all things, because love does, because without love what are we?

We may think we have the monopoly on God, but the bible says that ANYONE who has known love has known God. Whether they believe in God or not.

Where love is. God is.

When a mother hugs her child before sending them off for school. When she holds them tight for that moment and pours all her love into them hoping it will see them through the day until they can be home with her again. There is God.

When you laugh until you’re crying with your bestie who has always had your back. There is God.

When a Muslim serves their neighbourhood with a soup kitchen. There is God.

When a Buddhist offers free yoga classes to victims of domestic abuse. There is God.

When an Atheist raises money for cancer research. There is God.

When a gay couple adopt a child. There is God.

When you promise to love someone and cherish them and care for them until death does you part, and you mean it. There is God. God IS that love, whatever gender you both are.

When you wrap yourself around your lover and feel your souls connect. There is God. God IS love, all kinds of love.

When your partner holds your hair as you vomit, mops your brow as you sweat and rubs your back as your womb contracts to push new life into the world. There is God.

Whenever there is love there is God. If you have experienced love, any love, then you have glimpsed the divine.

Because God is not some commodity owned by the church, presented in neat tidy little boxes to those who believe the right thing. God IS love, in all its complexity and nuance and down to earth reality. In all its magnificent untameable, uncontrollable, un-ownable, unfathomable, undefinable, inexhaustible, indescribable, glorious, beauty.