“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love”.
Love is there any word that is more casually use in the English language Think of all the ways you can say you love someone will something I love my husband I love my children, I love to view out of my window and on the other occasion you meet a friend and you might say I love your shoes “where did you get them”.
I Have quoted many different contexts where the word love is used, so how many different types of love do you think there can be.
CS Lewis talks about love in his book ‘The Four Loves’
It is interesting the order he places the four in.
The first love he describes is affection. A mutual love between a parent and child, the first love we experience after birth, a need love and a giving love.
The next is friendship, a love freely chosen. They are not compelled into it by our own emotional and physical needs. There is a saying which I am sure you are all familiar with,you can choose your friends but not your relatives. How many times did you fall out with friends when you started school.
The next is romance, a coming together, a love that maybe started with friendship , moved deeper to affection, a complete giving of oneself to another.
And finally Agape-God ,love freely given asking for nothing in return and regardless of the circumstance.
A love that is inclusive as we hear in our first reading. This love is not for certain people, this love is for all.
But what about the other words
As the father has loved me so I have loved you now abide in my love.
Does it mean that Christ might stop loving us if we do not abide in his love,we do not wish to stay in his love, but decide to move away from his love and closeness, maybe thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Think of the prodigal son he went off because he thought the grass is greener, the son deprived himself of his fathers love and only later after a time in self-imposed hardship did he return to his father. His father who had never ceased to love his son, Abiding in Christ means we do is he would wish we keep his commands Jesus is here if you obey my commands, you will remain in my love.
So what happens if we don’t do this then we disobey and remove ourselves from the flow of the holy spirit this love is irrevocably linked with obedience really Love God we will want to follow his ways which is why it is important to have this personal relationship and for that relationship to grow.
V 12 and Gives us the command, my command is this Love each other as I have loved you. That’s a high standard of love as I have loved you how does Jesus love you he loved you before you loved him. He loved us enough to give himself totally sacrificially for us.
We may think “how can I possibly love as Jesus loved’, he tells us we can only do it if we abide in his love. If we walk in partnership, if we remain and live in obedience with the one we love.
It only is in this kind of relationship and fellowship our prayers actually mean something. John 15’7 if you remain in me and my words remaining you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to him
Today is rogation Sunday, the word rogation come from the latin Rogare “to ask’ and in v 17 we read “what ever you ask the father in my name he will give you’
We are only going to find our God wants from us if we ask him it is through the spirit that is within us that God is able to speak to us. It is when we develop a relationship with our risen Lord that we can be changed. We have been chosen by Christ to bear his fruit, fruit that will last.
v16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
Jesus telling to do one thing in this passage; just a connected with him, delivering fellowship with him to draw life and strength from him,obey him and depend on him. And abide in him.
We have a choice something we can do or not do
We can do it if we do as he says
If we abide in him
If we do as he commands and love one another
If we remember he choose us and not the other way round.
If we remember he loves us whoever and wherever we are.