On Faith: Love is the all-time winner“What’s Love Got to Do With It?” That’s the title of a Tina Turner song from 1984. I know that by the time you read this Valentine’s Day will be over. But it’s always a good thing to talk about love. What’s love got to do with it?
By: Pastor Kirk Schield, Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church, Lake County News Chronicle
“What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
That’s the title of a Tina Turner song from 1984. I know that by the time you read this Valentine’s Day will be over. But it’s always a good thing to talk about love. What’s love got to do with it? Everyone loves to be loved. Love is an often used word because we not only want to be loved – we need to be loved.
In the English language we have only one word for love. We use the word love for all sorts of things. We love our mother, we love our father. We love our husband, we love our wife. We love our children. We love our brother, we love our sister. We love to hunt, we love to fish. We love pizza. We love potato chips. We love chocolate.
In Greek, the original language of the New Testament part of the Bible, the word love is expressed with several different words. Philo is the word that is used for love for a relative or friend. The word Philadelphia means, “the city of brotherly love.” Then there is “eros” love. In a world that is so often preoccupied with sexual love the word erotic certainly has a negative connotation. But that word was meant to be an intimate love between one man and one woman in marriage.
There are other names for love for different kinds of love but there is a word used specifically for the kind of love that God has for us. The love God has for us is agape (Ah Gah Pay) love. In English, that word, agape is in itself pretty profound. It reminds me of our word agape, which the dictionary defines as “having the mouth open in wonder or surprise.” God has that kind of love for us: a wide-open kind of love. God’s love is a wonderful kind of love. A steadfast love. A longsuffering love. An unconditional love. A surprising love. The Bible has lots of verses that describe God’s love for us. Here’s one: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We see in that statement that we are sinners.
As sinners we sin against God and against our loved ones and friends. Since God does not sin and we do, we certainly do not deserve his love. Yet God loves us with an everlasting love. He loves for us to have a relationship with him; he doesn’t want us to be separated from him.
That’s another verse in the Bible: “Nothing shall separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” There are other verses such as “He loved me and gave himself for me.” Or “greater love has no one than this: that someone lays down his life for his friends.”
That’s what God’s Son, Jesus, did: he laid down his life for us so that we, his friends, would once again have peace with God.
In her song Turner sang “What’s love but a second hand emotion?” For God love is a first hand emotion. Infact, the Bible says that God is love. We love in very weak, imperfect ways, but God loves us powerfully, perfectly. Love is his whole being.
So “What’s love got to do with it?” In God’s case love has everything to do with it.
Kirk Schield is pastor of Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church, Two Harbors. You can reach him at 834-5345 or email@example.com.