Put A Little Love In Your Heart. Can’t Buy Me Love. Not Enough Love In the World. In the Name of Love. Somebody to Love. Love Me Do. Crazy Love.
We could go on. (And we might!) Song titles and movies and books and advice columns. So many ways to talk about LOVE … the very thing still hardest to put into words.
Scripture and history give us words for different kinds of love, for the ways we relate to each other and to the world. This month, we’ll explore each of those: How does God call us to live in love? How does Christ teach us the meaning of loving one another? Where can the Spirit of divine love transform a hurting world – or just one single soul? What could it look like to truly find ‘a love supreme’? (We warned you there would be more.)
In this month that the culture dedicates to hearts and flowers and chocolate and gestures, what does it mean to give, and to receive, MUCH LOVE?
February 2 – storge
(familial – family of origin, family of choice)
John 12: 1 – 8
theme verse : ‘The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.’ (Jn 12:3b)
In the gospels, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus make multiple appearances, in different combinations. Jesus’ own family is named, of course. And he gathers a group of disciples to travel and work with him. There is a lot to say about the family we’re born into, and the family we choose. Storge – love-like-family – is one way we see what God has is mind for us, for how we love one another.
February 9 – phileo
(friendship – ‘brotherly love’)
Romans 12: 3 – 10
theme verse : ‘…love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.’ (Rom 12:10)
We seem to understand that there is a sort of deepening of love between friends when we use a phrase like, “I love you like a brother/sister/sibling.” The Greek word phileo describes an emotional connection that goes beyond acquaintances or casual friendships. It suggests relationships that our bond tightly together in enjoyment, appreciation, and deep care. Join us as we consider the blessed tie that binds us together as one body in Christ.
February 16 – eros
(partnership – romantic – bodily)
Song of Solomon 8: 5 – 7
theme verse : ‘Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.’ (Song 8:7)
Of all the things we talk about in church, love gets the most attention, and probably also the least. We’re not very good at talking about eros love – the romantic kind, the embodied love, the love of partnership and fulfillment. What does it mean to fully love someone – and to receive the sacredness of love in return?
February 23 – agape
(community – fellowship)
1 John 4: 7 – 12
theme verse : ‘No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.’ (1 Jn 4:12)
Sometimes love can be beyond all that we could ever expect of imagine. Agape (or divine love, as it is could be translated from Koine Greek) is mentioned often in the New Testament as the sort of love that God exercises towards the world through Christ. As we take a special offering this week for Week of Compassion—the relief, refugee, and development mission fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we may not understand fully the extent that God loves us, but we strive to emulate that love so that we, and others, may come to see glimpses of God’s precious love for the life of the world.