Does anyone out there remember this song? I looked it up and it was released in 1970 by Stephen Stills and became a number one hit. I used to make fun of it … I mean how pathetic can you get, saying, if you can’t have the person you really care for, just give up and love the one you’re with — any old person, it really doesn’t matter. However, thinking about it from a Christian perspective, isn’t this exactly the kind of preposterous love Jesus calls us to?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’ But I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48
We’re to practice agape love, the kind of love God shows to us and the rest of the world. So love your neighbors, love your enemies, love your coworkers, love your fellow church members,love those who are different and unlovable, the people who really annoy and irritate you and yes, love the one you’re with!
“The first love is drunken. When the intoxication wears off, then comes real marriage love.”
Which kinds of love is Luther talking about? Eros and then agape? storge? philia?? Or is married love really a combination of all of these? We feel different sorts of love for each other at different times?
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2
The other night my husband and I watched the movie, Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story. If you don’t know anything about Dorothy Day, I can only say that learning more about her will challenge you to a more radical kind of Christian love (agape).
As a young woman, Dorothy was not a Christian, but she was always concerned with social justice. She converted to Catholicism after bearing a child out of wedlock. Returning to work as a journalist, she felt called to do more than simply write about the plight of the poor — she wanted to do something. Encouraged by her friend, Peter Moran, she started the Catholic Worker Movement which published a newspaper and established “hospitality houses” to minister to the physical needs of the homeless and hungry. Dorothy (and her young daughter) lived with the poor and shared their lives. Later in life she was jailed multiple times for protesting war and nuclear armament. Some have called her “the American Mother Theresa.”
Dorothy took the words of Jesus literally. She tried to live her life as He did. This made many people, even fellow Christians, uncomfortable. She lived her faith. She welcomed and loved people most of us would find undeserving and unlovable. Was it easy? No. The movie depicted her frustration, anger and loneliness. Why did she continue? She felt it was God’s call to her. What is His call to you?