John and Abigail
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I John 4:11 NKJV
Every few years, Janice and I like to tour the homes of John and Abigail Adams in Quincy, MA. One of the things you will hear on tour is their great love for each other. Nothing tells of their bond and affection for each other more than the known 1160 letters written, beginning with their courtship and continuing throughout his political career. During much of their marriage, they were separated by distance, and these letters were how they kept their romance alive. Here's just one example, John to Abigail on April 28, 1776, "Is there no Way for two friendly Souls, to converse together, altho the Bodies are 400 Miles off?—Yes by Letter.—But I want a better Communication. I want to hear you think, or to see your Thoughts."
As great as their love was, we have one that is greater, God's love for us. God's affection and compassion for us are such that he sent his only Son as a sacrifice so that we may have a relationship with him. This is our triune God, taking the form of man, sacrificing himself all to be with us. Then, having ascended, he sent another part of himself to be with us right now as you're reading this, that God part is alive within you. How incredibly awesome is that?
That's what God has done for us; how do we return that love? First, by acknowledging God's enduring love within us and accepting that we are better and more complete people because of his love. Once we do that, it's like putting on new glasses for the sight impacted; everything is clearer. We begin to see his love where formerly there was a haze of sin. We can even see the person we once thought despicable and without merit in a new light; our hearts become open to understanding and forgiveness.
Secondly, as the love was mutual between Abigail and John, so must our relationship be with God. We need to tell God we love him. We might write love letters to God in poems, songs, and journals, but if writing isn't your thing, there's always a conversation. Spending time in prayer is the perfect time to share with him how much this relationship means to you.
Finally, let that same love God has for us, and we, for him, expand our universe of love. Take that incredibly excellent gift and share it. It's not something we need to hoard; it's not like the toilet paper shortage during the COVID shut down; there's plenty to go around. You're not going to run out because the source is alive within you.
Heavenly Father, we confess we don't say this enough; we love you. Thank you for the gift of your only Son and the Holy Spirit. It is only through your love that we know how to love perfectly. Help us to share your abundant love unashamedly with others. Amen.
Blessings and Love,