As God gives himself to us in love he wants our love in response. But can we ever return God’s love out of ourselves. We are always turned in on ourselves if left to ourselves. It is impossible for us to return God’s love.
However, God doesn’t give himself to us in Christ and say there’s, my love for you now you must respond to that love out of yourselves. No! In union with Jesus, he takes us into his own Triune communion of love. And within that communion of love we share in the two-way movement of love. God’s love moves towards us from the Father through the Son and in the Spirit. Our love for God moves in the Spirit through the Son to the Father. The Spirit loves both Father and Son and our love arises from the Spirit’s life and love within us. It is our love expressed from our own hearts with our own will, but it is our love that moves from the life and love of the Spirit.
Looking honestly at our own love, we have to admit that we seem far away from all this. Even our best efforts to love are stained with self-interest. However, in union with Jesus, our love is offered to the Father THROUGH Jesus. And so, even though our love in the Spirit is lacking, the perfect love is always offered to the Father in our name through Jesus. We take seriously the call to love God in the Spirit, but we do not despair over our own lack of love. For Jesus offers his perfect love to the Father as our love.