What if love is simply recognizing God in another?
And, since God is love, why do we often think and speak as if love and God were two distinct things, rather than one thing. God is love; Love is God; Therefore, we can substitute the word “Love” for the word “God.”
Suppose we were to read the Bible like this (and you may want to read it out loud so you can really hear it):
In the beginning Love created the heavens and the earth.
Then Love said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.
Love created mankind in his image;
in the image of Love he created them;
male and female he created them.
Love blessed them and Love said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth. Love also said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the wild animals, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the earth, I give all the green plants for food. And so it happened.
Love looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.
How does that change our understanding?
This of course makes Jesus the Son of Love, who reigns in the Kingdom of Love, for the People of Love.
Because this is how Love loved the world: he gave up his Son, who is one of a kind, so that everyone who believes in him won’t die, but instead would have eternal life. Love didn’t send his Son into the world to condemn the world. He sent his Son so that the world would be saved through him. Anyone who trusts in him won’t be condemned, but anyone who doesn’t trust in him has already been condemned because he refuses to trust in the name of Love’s one of a kind Son.
So, I think for a while, I will say “Love” in place of God and see what kind of effect that has on the world, and on the lives of those around me.