One of the ancient Greek words for “love is eros, meaning erotic love. “Eros’ is important, one of God’s good gifts. But the Biblical word in Greek is a-ga-pe (agape love). The word “agape” had a hazy, abstract meaning in the First Century. But the early Christians filled it with Christ content. It became the throbbing Spirit of Christ in the community, the kind of love that does not say, “What can I get out of this relationship?” It is a love that says, “How can I give of myself in order that the beloved may be fulfilled?” This is the “fruit,” Jesus said, by which you can tell whether or not we belong to Him. In obedience to His great command we become loving persons in an expansive, life-enhancing way. Most of us need help in learning how to love in this way. Some of you may remember the “New Yorker” magazine cartoon in which two seminary students are out walking together. One of…
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