This weekend I spent the weekend with family because we were invited to come to my newest niece baptism. The reverend who did the service I only knew by name, because he has written a lot of books. I don’t remember whether or not I have read one of them, and I think if I did I didn’t think it was very good, mainly for the lack of surprises. Today, however, the sermon had a nice surprise in it, the subject was love. Now it had all the ‘standard’ love Bible text that even the pagans know ‘1 Corinth 13. Love is patient, love is never jalouse, all these kind of things. However, rather than giving a holy praise of love the Reverend started with more of a confession: despite the fact that it says clearly: then rest us, hope, faith, and love, the greatest of these is love, and ‘God is love’ he would move back to but isn’t god angry as well, or truth, or justice?. And sometimes we are so fast to ask in church ‘how is your faith’ and not ‘how is your love’. He confessed how he in the past often met with a guy who would always go back to the greatest commandment: Love God above all and your neighbor as yourself, and honestly, sometimes he would think: don’t we know that one already? Diving more in the subject of love he remembered the man, understanding a little more why he went on and on about this core of the Christian faith. What does this love mean? He shared a quote he found attributed to Augustine, a 5th-century theologian- ‘love is ‘I want you to be’. Simply that. I want you to be. He went on to share a quote from someone who had in their religious life made a daring promise to self: to no longer believe based on fear, but rather from love, starting with loving others to understand better what this meant. The reverend went on to say how indeed sometimes when you don’t know how to love God -because he is so high and mighty and ephemeral- you could love God by loving others.
I almost patted him on the back. I thought it was quite significant what he had shared, but I wanted to add something. Tonight I confessed the same to my dad. I told him, there yet is another way of looking to this commandment when perhaps you don’t know how not necessarily how to love God, but how God loves you. Some of us are very aware of what it means to unconditionally love others, but for some reason find it very hard to love ourselves. In a way we are missing the ‘self’ from the trinity of the greatest commandment, ‘God, the Other and the Self’. However, by knowing the love found in the self for others, a fraction of the fierceness fo gods love, or how to love ourselves can be understood.
I as I told this all to my dad I told him: Oh, and I know the title of the book explaining this: “how the greatest commandment is like the law of Pythagoras”. A2 xB2 is C2. You don’t have to know all the corners to understand and learn the all the angles. All you need to know is that it is a triangle. And, when you know two angles the third will become inevitable. No one can know how high, how deep and wide the love of God is. However, the love triangle between God, the Other and Yourself give some indication of exactly how unmeasurable it is.😊