What is this Thing Called Love?
James Taylor sung about how sweet it is. Deon Jackson said it made the world go round. The Beetles sang that it was all you need. Huey Lewis spoke of its power and Peter Cetera, its glory. Air Supply lamented they were all out of it. Meatloaf said he’d do anything for it, but then he took it back in the next breath. Ed Sheeran thought his was perfect. Taylor Swift’s came back to her. The Judds said it would build a bridge. Burt Bacharach wrote it was what the world needs now; however, Journey just wanted to know what it was. Of course, I’m talking about love.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner there’s a lot of talk about love and relationships.. Florists have doubled the price of flowers, supermarkets have filled their shelves with candy, streaming services are promoting their romantic comedies, restaurants are pre-booked, and our playlists are full of sappy songs. And it’s all in the name of love.
Foreigner was right to ask what love is.
I’ve gotta take a little time
A little time to think things over
I better read between the lines.
In case I need it when I’m older
This mountain, I must climb
Feels like a world upon my shoulders
Through the clouds, I see love shine
Keeps me warm as life grows colder
In my life, there’s been heartache and pain
I don’t know if I can face it again
Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far
To change this lonely life
I wanna know what love is…
So ,what is love? The problem with our culture is we have an impoverished view of love. It is no wonder the world keeps looking for love in all the wrong places; they have no idea of what is really is.
The ancient Greek language was much more expressive in describing love; they had four different words: eros, philia, storge, and agape. Eros is what most of our culture is talking and singing about. It is romantic or sexual love. Philia is friendship love; it is what we share with our “besties.” Storge is that love that is shared between family members. Agape love is different. It is unconditional love. Agape is the unselfish love that commits oneself to the betterment of another. Without agape, every other love is shallow and self-serving.
Agape love is what the world needs now. It is agape that builds bridges and is powerful and glorious. Agape love is what is expressed best by God to his creation. It is commanded of his people. Agape is what identifies Christ-followers to the world.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Meir Ben Isaac Neheral described God’s love this way in an ancient book of Jewish thought:
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
Were every blade of grass a quill,
Were the world of parchment made,
And everyman a scribe by trade,
To write the love Of God above
Would drain the ocean dry:
Nor would the scroll Contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Join us Sunday for this lesson on the meaning of love