We prayed to God today in the Collect prayer, that we may be inwardly transformed by his Son, who appeared in our very flesh. The prayer went on to say that through him, whom we recognize as outwardly like ourselves in the incarnation, we find the desire for that inner transformation. That transformation is to be one of love. The Apostle John in his 1st letter encourages us to love one another and the reason is simple, to do so because God is love. Everyone who loves another person is begotten by God and knows God. It reminds me of my favorite line in "Les Miserable", the musical and now movie, which says toward the end "To love another person is to see the face of God."
John concludes the passage read today by reminding us that of what true love consists: not that we have loved God, but that he has loved us, and has sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Our love of God is sort of a natural response ... if someone is good to me, I'll be good to him. But true love is found in a love that is freely chosen yet not required, over the top when sufficient would be adequate, and so real that it opens the way for the ultimate sacrifice in order to bring about redemption. That kind of love, the kind that God has for us, the kind that prompted him to send us his Son, the kind that enables our lives to be transformed and immersed into the divine, is what love is meant to be for us. It is the ultimate gift of God to you and me.