Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"look on us…"

"it's easy,
all you need is love,
all you need is love,
all you need is love, love,
love is all you need..."

Thomas Gray's cover of the Lennon and McCartney classic, "All You Need is Love is the perfect keynote for this post. Simple, pure, unvarnished.

So it is my hope, that this post will be just as simple.

My Bible study this morning started with this Scripture from Romans:

"Love is the fulfilling of the law..."

It took my breath away. I don't know why I hadn't seen it before -- it was certainly a familiar passage. But this morning it was as if all the pieces fell into place. Love isn't a means to an end. Love is the end. It is everything. Love isn't something we "use" to accomplish perfection -- or anything else for that matter. Love is everything.

I've been sensing this for some years. But this morning I think I "got it." The healings and demonstrations that Jesus witnessed, were not the main event. They were just the encouragement toward the great awakening -- the realization that -- it's all about Love.

One of my favorite relationships in Scripture is that of Jesus' disciples, John and Peter. Talk about two guys who struggled with "who shall be greatest." John, as much as I love him, was a bit passive-aggressive. Take his referencing of himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved," -- oh my. And sweet, over-earnest Peter. One minute he is the Rock on whom Jesus will build his church, and the next, Jesus is rebuking him with a resounding, "get thee behind me Satan." Comparisons, competition, contradiction -- all for the love of the Master.

One of Jesus' last recorded acts was his rebuke to Peter, when Peter asks him, "what shall this man do?" referring to John.  Jesus' reply -- and I can't imagine that it wasn't without just a touch of exasperation -- was, "what is that to thee? follow thou me."  Which, of course, was recorded for posterity by John.  Oh, these guys. 

When I think of all the healings they had witnessed -- the raising of the dead, the loaves and fishes, the water into wine. And yet, Jesus' final moments with them are not a recap of "how to" perform the "miraculous."  They are, in fact, filled with an urgent plea that they learn to love one another -- the washing of one another's feet, and finally, this admonition to stop competing.

So back to my favorite moment? It comes in the book of Acts, third chapter. Peter and John are together. Jesus is no longer the personally present sun around which their lives orbit. And yet, here they are. Together. Going to temple to worship -- together. A lame man stops them and asks for help -- for healing.  And this is it -- the moment that makes me weep:

"And Peter, fastening his eyes
upon him with John, said,
'Look on us."

It gets me every time. It's almost as if he is saying. "Listen man, if we can be together, anything is possible." The greatest healing was not the lame man walking, the restoration of Malchus' ear, or even the return of vitality to the body -- the greatest healing is love.

Re-reading the gospels, I have realized that this is the "aha," I have been sensing for decades. It's not about using love to get better, feel more peaceful, find abundance, or demonstrate happiness. Love is, in fact, using us to be Itself -- to fulfill Itself. Love is the fulfilling of the law. It is everything, and as Mary Baker Eddy says in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, her textbook on this law of Love:

"The depth, breadth, height, might,
majesty, and glory of infinite Love
fill all space.
That is enough!"

Love is the fulfilling of the law -- the law of Love. We don't love in order to have a more perfect life -- body, bank account, home. Love uses our lives as a platform for Its fulfillment -- love. We don't "use" love to improve our bodies. We have bodies so that we can express love -- willing hands for helping, strong arms for holding, beautiful lips for smiling, clear eyes for beholding.

It's not "all you need is love," in order to heal the world, fix a problem, or clean up your heart/mind so that you can finally see perfection. It's "all you need is love" -- period! This love, is perfection.

I can't help but think of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  We think of their songs as the fulfilling of their relationship.  But, perhaps, the songs were just the platform on which these two brilliant artists forged a relationship of mutual respect and warm affection.  This is the question I am living in today.

And today -- at least for me -- this is enough.

offered with Love,


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