A Word from N. T. Wright

In follow-up to my last post, the following is a quote from N.T. Wright from his book Surprised by Hope:

“The point of 1 Corinthians 13 is that love is not our duty; it is our destiny. It is the language Jesus spoke, and we are called to speak it so that we can converse with him. It is the food they eat in God’s new world, and we must acquire the taste for it here and now. It is the music God has written for all his creatures to sing, and we are called to learn it and practice it now so as to be ready when the conductor brings down his baton. It is the resurrection life, and the resurrected Jesus calls us to begin living it with him and for him right now. Love is at the very heart of the surprise of hope: people who truly hope as the resurrection encourages us to hope will be people enabled to love in a new way. Conversely, people who are living by this rule of love will be people who are learning more deeply how to hope.”

Despite the fact that this book is some majorly heavy reading, there were so many great points. And I love that the climax of the book was about love.

I want to be someone who loves well!

The greatest commandments and the meaning of life

In Matthew 22, one of the Pharisees asks Jesus a question to try to trap him:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I’ve thought about these verses a lot lately.

The Greatest Thing
The greatest thing we can do in life is to love God and others. If we truly love as Christ calls us to do, the kingdom of Heaven is near. Love is evident, and Christ is evident.

Love doesn’t sit still. Love moves. It acts. It sees a need and meets it. It fights for injustice. It comforts those who mourn. The list goes on! Love is noticeable. It’s different. It stands out.

The meaning of life
What is the meaning of life? People are always looking for the answer to this question. The reason we are all here in the first place. Something to give this life meaning. We analyze this question and come at it from all sorts of different angles, but maybe we over complicate it.

Lately, it seems to me that the meaning of life may rest in these 2 greatest commandments. Love God. And love others.

We can screw up everything else, but if we open our eyes each day expecting to find ways to love God and those around us, life will be a success. Of course we want to do well at work, have a great family, etc. but in the midst of all that, if the most important thing we do everyday is to show at least one person love, every day is a win. And God wins! Our love can’t help but point others to God. It’s really pretty easy. Well, except for when it’s hard. 🙂

May we learn a little more each day what it means to truly love God and others. May we allow God to transform us through His great love. And may we choose to love freely and openly and be quick to act in love.