WHAT IS THE GOSPEL OF LOVE? (Pt.2)
It is rooted in the words of Jesus to “Love one another, as I have loved you”. John 13:34 Now at that time he called it a commandment. People were big into commandments back in the day! His genius was to take the 10,000 rules of religion, as offspring of the 10 commandments, which he then reduced to two, (Love God and your neighbor as yourself) and then finalized as one, “Love one another, as I have loved you”.
The point being that every teaching, every rule, every commandment, is pointing to a greater love. And when we love this way, seeing the other as ourselves, we don’t need any rules or commandments, or the fear of punishment, or the promise of reward in the afterlife, to be able to do what’s right, here and now. When the spirit of the law comes, we are released from the letter of the law, The “law” is fulfilled through love.
To love with a Divine Love is what Jesus lived, demonstrated, and taught. But he stood against the concept of religion and made no effort to organize a new one. Yet his self-proclaimed followers took it upon themselves to create and organize a new religion, which was based on a belief in doctrine rather than the experience and practice of Divine Love. Thus, they strayed woefully away from the one commandment to “love one another as I have loved you”. I don’t know if you believe in such things but there must have been great weeping and gnashing of teeth in heaven as Christianity participated in crusades, inquisitions, conquests, slavery, oppression, prejudice, and war, in the name of Jesus.
So I see The Gospel of Love as rummaging through all the scriptures that men have used to build divisive doctrines and distorted belief systems and taking this one scripture to “love one another” out of the pile like a beat-up wooden cup from the heap of golden chalices, (Won’t the real holy grail please stand up )and begin to practice, experience, and live it. This I believe can be approached by all, regardless of race, nationality, religion, sexual preference, or creed. To even attempt to love with a Divine Love would take us beyond the shores of our divisiveness and into the deep waters of inner peace, universal love, timeless joy, and goodwill towards all. No one would be perfect at it, but its value lies not in perfection, but in entering the perfecting process and that begins when we dare to love with a Divine Love.
So, how will we fulfill this scriptural command to “love one another” that has remained largely untried? First, let’s not call it a commandment for who can love on command. I would rather call it an invitation. You are invited to experience and then practice this greater love. These are the principles that will guide us into this possibility of becoming love-soaked souls.
Love your neighbor.
Let go of judgment.
Let go of anger.
Let go of fear.
Let go of ownership.
Love your enemies.
Be respectful to all.
Be filled with gratitude.
Be at peace.
Be a peacemaker.
Experience the love of God.
Love all life.
Love others as you have been loved by God.
Be of service.
There you go, 21 principles of The Gospel of Love. As you can see it is not soft or easy. To the contrary, this is the most challenging journey a soul can take. But there is no destination, just a willingness to let a higher love be the guide of your life. As long as you try, with sincerity, it will bear fruit.
“Love bears all things, has faith through all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails!”
1 Corinthians 13:7