16 November 2012

Aesop Tells It Straight

Love is said to be weak, but we all know how untrue that is. We’ve all got loyalty stories we can tell of friends or family who have been there for us when we don’t deserve it.  Saying that God is love is sometimes misinterpreted. The most fearless people I know understand God’s love for them. Christ’s love for us allowed Him to choose to be crucified instead of us having to facing up to judgment with all our wrongs still unsettled.
And, unless we encounter the love of God, we’ve never really encountered the Spirit of Christ, for that is its essence.
This famous fable, and told to children for centuries tell you that even children understand the mighty power of love.

The Wind and the Sun - Aesop's Fables
The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger.
Suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveler to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger You begin.”
So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveler.
But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair.
Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveler, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on. 
- Joseph Jacobs, The Fables of Æsop (London and New York: Macmillan and Company, 1894), no. 60, pp. 142-43.
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” – Jesus Christ (Luke 6:27-28)
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.  If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.”  (I John 4:17-21)