Friday 26th May, 2023
We are presented with a picture of love not as one that puts up with abuse, as many of us may have been taught to believe, but as one wholly committed to ‘pulling together’ in the same direction as the other, even when it’s not easy.
So far, we’ve read that love shares one another burdens, bearing up under heavy loads together, being vulnerable and open enough to ask for help when needed. That whilst doing so love believes the best of and has faith in the other person and so has a hope for their future together.
Finally, within all this; Love endures. Whilst the load may be heavy, the going may be tough, love is committed to the faith and hope they have in the other to see things through, sharing the load until the work is complete. Like our God who promised Joshua:
There is a sense of struggle here, life is not always easy, but it’s struggle with another, not struggle at the hands of another. Love is reciprocal, in order to have faith and hope, which allows us to endure, we have to have a reason for that faith and hope, if our struggle is caused by the other person then we don’t, and we are not bearing together or enduring together. If one of us is “enduring” the behaviour of the other, carrying the heavy load alone, then we are in fact unequally yolked.
These last four descriptions of love, bearing, believing, hoping and enduring conveys above all else a sense of togetherness, of being ‘one body’ it echoes the creation narrative where God created two human beings designed to work together equally to steward and fill the earth, in perfect partnership and harmony with one another.
Love requires equality.
The beautiful thing in particular about this is that we cannot ever be equal to God, but because God loves us so much, God “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death- even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8) God knew that equality is necessary for relationship, knew that we could never elevate ourselves to equality with God, but desired relationship with us so much, that he humbled himself to our level and endures with us.