What is it about love that makes it a commandment? If love is the greatest thing there is, if love makes the world go round, if love is God, then love should not be a command, but it is. If love sacrifices and suffers, if love values and esteems, if love already exists between you and me, among us, then love should not be a commandment, but it is.
Why are we commanded to love and not just prompted? Why are we ordered to love and not just suggested? Why are we directed to love and not just reminded?
It is because love is higher than any law, constitution or regulation. It is because love is purer than any decree, demand or decision. It is because love is divine. And if love is divine, if love comes from God, if love will end in God, then it has to be a commandment.
Follow and obey the commandment and you follow and obey God. Disobey the commandment and you disobey our loving God.
It is within the context of a family that love finds its essence and nature. Jesus spoke about the commandment to love and called his disciples “my children” after one specific person whose name was Judas had left them. Judas was never family.
We have our own families. They are not perfect, but it is family. There may be your Uncle Bill whose claim to fame was visiting the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Kansas City, or an Aunt Bertha who talked to you endlessly about the time she shook hands with Justin Bieber.
With our own families, sometimes there is miscommunication and then we get hurt and we bear grudges. But, it is family. Where there is family, there is love. With love in a family, spouses grow old together and children believe in the power of forever. Without love, growing and getting old becomes a struggle and a burden. Without love, bearing and having children becomes an obligation and a problem.
Loving comes with forgiving. Forgiving comes with understanding. Understanding comes with listening. And here is the rub, Jesus gave us the commandment to love because the first duty of love is to listen.
We sometimes make a joke of it that we find it difficult to listen, especially us, men. There was this story of a man driving up a steep, narrow mountain road. A woman is driving down the same road. As they pass each other, the woman leans out of the window and yells, "PIG!” The man immediately leans out of his window and yells, "WITCH!” They each continue on their way, and as the man rounds the next corner, he crashes into a pig in the middle of the road. Moral of the story: “Watch when you are driving. Do not call a woman a witch and listen.”
We need to listen. Why not turn off the noises in your mind and start listening? True silence can be found in love and it has its own personality. We see lovers gazing at each other’s eyes and they are veiled in silence. Music and sounds are children of silence. Without silence, music is not music, sound is not sound.
God wants you to take a few moments each day to just listen. Miracles always happen and are always unfolding before our eyes. Listen to God’s voice. Listen to your loved ones and your family, what they said and what they are not saying. It is your family. You love them. They love you.
Why is love a commandment? Because love is family. And, when you are in a family, you cannot be but listen to love, listen in love, listen with love.
28 April 2013