So many songs through the years get at it. " Heaven, I'm in heaven . . .when we're dancing cheek to cheek", Irving Berlin wrote and Fred Astaire sang in 1935, in the movie "Top Hat". "Almost paradise; we're knocking on heaven's door . . . I swear that I can see forever in your eyes, Paradise! It seems like perfect love´s so hard to find . . .." Eric Carmen and Dean Pitchford wrote, and Ann Wilson and Mike Reno sang, 49 years later, in 1984, in the movie "Footloose". And 29 years later, in 2013, in a fascinating (and borderline scandalous) reworking of metaphors, Hozier wrote and sang in his song "Take Me To Church": "I should've worshipped her sooner; If the Heavens ever did speak she is the last true mouthpiece . . . the only heaven I'll be sent to is when I'm alone with you".
We desire to find love in our lives, and we desire to find love that is "heavenly"--that is "divine"--that indeed transcends the day-to-day humdrum workaday lives we find ourselves living. And we write songs about it, and dream of it, and sometimes even seek it out, and grasp for it--not always in successful ways, because more often than not it is like trying to catch a butterfly--you're better off being in the area where the butterflies are, and waiting for one to land on you. And it is fairly inevitable that one will, particularly if you don't scare it away.
We worship a God who created the world out of love, who created us out of love, and whose two greatest commands are about love: love God, and love others. Not crush them; not beat them; not show them who's smarter, or stronger, or better looking, or superior. Love them.
1 John appears to have been written to a conflicted church (as is most of the New Testament, interestingly enough) and calls them back to what love is supposed to be about, especially within a community of faith. And chapter 3 begins with a reminder of the Divine Love: "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are". With God loving us to the point of us being like children in God's family, that ought to guide us to a better sense of what love is really all about--and what love that is indeed divine does for us. And as we go on in this series, we'll look at some of what that ought to motivate us to do too.