What is love?

Pastor Ron Burcham, Risen Savior Lutheran Church

Soon we will see more red hearts than there are Cub fans at the beginning of the season. A sure sign that either there is a massive cardiologist convention in town, or it is the month of February.

With all of those hearts it made me wonder – what is love? After all one can say I love my wife, and I also love golf. For the sake of your marriage, you better mean two different things. So, what is love?

Love is an emotion. “Twitterpated” it was called in Bambi, with the warning it could happen to anyone. It is that warm feeling inside that says all is right in the world. It is when the touch of a hand can send a shiver down your spine, and add warmth to your heart all at the same time. Countless boxes of chocolate will be purchased this month all because people are “twitterpated.” Hallmark will make a fortune selling cards, and getting a reservation in a restaurant on the 14th will be a bit of a challenge. All in the name of love. It’s not limited to the young although they seem to garner all of the attention. No, as Owl warned, it can happen to anyone at any age – and what a wonderful emotion it is.

Love is verb. This is taking the emotional love to the next level. Love will motivate people to do incredible, even heroic acts. It is the man rushing into the burning house to save the family pets, which is more about his love for his children than the Chihuahua. When you turn down the promotion because it will take you away from home even more. When you clean that bathroom, a chore you dislike, but you know that your spouse loathes it even more. From simple acts to major decisions, love that translates into action is a very powerful force.

God is love. For the ultimate definition of love I believe we need to look to God.

“…God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:9-11)

This is where love originated, from God. His love is emotional as demonstrated by his passion for us. His love translates into action; in the sacrifice of His Son for us and our salvation. In fact, the only reason that we can love is because He first loved us!

In the midst of all the red hearts this month, know that there is God who defined love and demonstrated a great love for all people.

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