In this mudslinging, name calling election season, it is not hard to see something is missing from the candidates running for America’s highest public office. Alright, maybe there is a lot missing! Whatever the party, platform or position it is easy to see there is definitely a shortage of LOVE.
The dictionary defines love as “an intense feeling of deep affection.” One often uses the word “love” to even describe people or things we appreciate or hold dear. Love is more than a feeling and can be lived out accordingly in relationships and we need it in our world more than ever.
The Bible is a book about relationships. The central theme is love and in short the “big story” is about God pursuing a love relationship with the crown of His creation: humanity. God created you for relationship. This relationship is not forced, but a response to the great love that was poured out by God. God pursues a personal love relationship with His creation.
Throughout the Bible, or often called, “God’s Love Letter,” we see the call to love as an expression of God’s heart. Jesus, who was God in the flesh on earth, echoed the greatest commandment in Mark 12:30 when he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The best way to live, know and experience God will depend on your love relationship with God. If this is not right, nothing in your life will be right. God initiates this relationship and we can respond willingly.
Loving God is the foundation, but it does not stop there. Jesus then reiterated: “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)
So loving God then overflows into how we treat each other. What a concept! Our expression to respond to God’s love and love Him back has a practical side: we learn how to love others. How easy it can be to love people who love and care for us, but to love those who have hurt us or have different values is very difficult. That sounds like the type of love only God could give us to shower on others.
Our families, country and world sure do need this love badly. To live this love out, one begins with being in relationship with God and then letting Him pour out His love to others through you.
As you get ready to hit the polls this November take some time to ponder responding to God’s love and maybe, just maybe we can see this type of love lived out with each other. If you are still undecided, “Vote for Love,” because God’s love changes everything.
Pastor Frank Alioto serves as a Spiritual Care Coordinator at Central Peninsula Hospital and as a chaplain for Central Emergency Services.