Chosen of God—holy and beloved,
Dressed in virtue so beyond contempt,
Compassion, kindness and humility uncovered,
Meekness and patience—never to pre-empt.
Forgiveness is a bond,
Of love in the Lord,
A binding of hearts found,
And for life that is assured.
(Poetic paraphrase of Colossians 3:12-14.)
Being an example of God’s love is the highest call of humanity, the longest task, and it holds us to the deepest of blessing. Along with it is the widest of felt suffering; to expose ourselves to love is to feel every bump along the corrugated road of life.
As If Immersed By This Thing, Love
Draped in love, clothed, and therefore characterised, we’re immersed—and ever so committed—to the ideals and practicalities contained within this crazy little thing called love. It subsumes us. We’re to be won to it, completely. And we know this is so when love is more important than anything else. It requires us to risk, even ourselves.
And this is surely what the Apostle Paul meant when he beseeched the Colossians to it (see Colossians 3:12-17).
When we see ourselves as chosen by God, because the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in us, and we’re blessed more easily to love, we know more implicitly the strains of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. We know on one level there’s sacrifice, yet on another level there’s incomprehensible ease because of the Holy Spirit. For this we’re thankful. How could we love like this without the all-sufficient strength of God?
To be immersed in this love, as if clothed by cloth or water, we find it complete—there’s little if no doubt or room in our minds to turn back. For this, again, we’re thankful to God.
Holding To The Greatest Test Of All – To Love
Love’s final test is to love when it’s hard—to make eye contact, and to smile, or to reach out and give, when we don’t want to. Most people know this love; they’ve tried.
A further test of love is to keep trying... again and again, we operate, making practical our compassion, kindness and patience. And love brings out the best in us, even despite our besmirching pride.
Our mission in life is to love; it doesn’t get any more complicated than that.
And that mission, though it seems easy on the surface, is a hard challenge—loving through every season of life, in every context, among all types of people.
Best of all with love is the model of God’s love—the perfection of grace allowing our imperfection to graze at the Home of Perfection.
That perfection—via the Holy Spirit—lives in us and helps us to love.
We’re clothed in Love from within so love might permeate from without.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.