When we look at Jesus, we see that God wants to be with us. He comes to us wanting to be with us as one of us. Jesus also shows us that God wants us to be with him responding to his love. Jesus gathered fellow humans simply to be with him. And he always wanted to know if they truly loved him. That’s what God always wants.
But how can we love him? Naturally, we are always turned in on ourselves if left to ourselves. It is impossible for us to respond freely to God’s love. However, by his Spirit, Jesus lives his own life of love in and through us. Each one can now say, “I no longer live but Christ lives in me.” God doesn’t give himself to us in love then say, now you must respond to my love out of yourselves. No! He takes us up into the fellowship that he has in himself. Through Jesus and by the Spirit, he moves towards us to create fellowship with us. And by his Spirit, through Jesus, he enables us to love in response to his love. We actually join in the fellowship of life and love that God is. In this way, God is with us in love and we are with God in love.
Within this fellowship, God has what he wants and he gives what he wants. Now we can say, there is no greater good outside of our fellowship that we still have to discover. There is no greater good arising out of our fellowship that is even better than the fellowship. In loving us into this fellowship God gives us everything.
The God of love wants to be ours and he wants us to be his. He wants us to belong together as we share in his communal life. God’s giving is always the giving of HIMSELF as he opens himself to us. And in opening himself to us he shares his own life with us-the life of love in communion. Thomas Torrance writes, “God has opened himself to us…and established an intimate two-way relation between himself and us and us and himself, making himself accessible to us and giving us entry into the inner fellowship of God’s own life”.
God has always lived in relationship. He has never been a solitary being; he has always lived as relationship. At the centre of the universe is not cosmic power or force, but rather relationship. The living God has always been the communion of three persons mutually indwelling one another in love. And the three have always wanted to include us within their own communion of joyful love.
God’s Spirit brings us into union with Jesus so that we actually share in this circle of love as Abba’s children. Within this communion, we now see that this is the very reason for our existence and for every other person who lives or has ever lived on this planet. There is nothing more for which we need to strive. For within this fellowship we are at rest enjoying the life for which we were created.
As dearly loved children, we are called to walk in love. We may think that we already know what love is. But do we really? Karl Barth tells us we can never know the real meaning of love from some chosen master-concept of love in general. We must rather turn our eyes on Jesus as the revelation of God’s love. For through Jesus, God opens himself to us showing his love for us and the kind of love he calls for in response. Therefore, when defining true love, we can only look at Jesus. Only he shows us what true love is.
How can we walk in such love? We cannot naturally love this way. Where does this love come from? In spite of our natural lack of love, we are met by Jesus in the Spirit. In that living encounter, Jesus comes to us as the one who loved us and gave himself for us. And, in that same encounter, the love of God is poured freely into our hearts by his Spirit. Now we know that we are deeply loved and called to walk in love as the Spirit of love works the love of God within us. We work out the love in our daily walk, but only as the God who is love works his own love within us. We must always remember that it is as dearly loved children that we are called to walk in love. And so we never turn our eyes on our own love, but only on the love that God is for us and in us