This week's Northumbria Community readings do include some familiar mentions of love, but I am opting to share three alternative ideas that emerged from my readings and pondering.
Firstly, Proverbs 15: 16 - 17
Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.
I wonder how much fake jollity has been, or will be, expressed over groaning tables this Christmas... better the soup-run with love, beans on toast with a loved one, an apple halved with a friend...
Next, Matthew 13:31 - 32
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
If love is a (the?) defining quality of the Kingdom of God, then is love like a mustard seed or a mustard plant? Shelter, shade, security... attributes of love
Lastly Psalm 1:1 -3 and Jeremiah 17:7-8
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.
Blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.
Love as a stream - refreshing, cleansing, invigorating, leading to flourishing and blossoming to fruitfulness.
God of love
Shelter and sustain us
Cleanse and refresh us
And may we
Share with others
The love you give us
As advent nears its end, what does it mean for us to look at the world through the lens of love? What does it mean for love to become incarnate where we are? Come, Lord Jesus, be born in us today...