Can we overuse the word ‘love’?
I realize that it can be used too soon—I’ve only this year left the dating pool after a long, long soak in it. I certainly understand it can be misused—I have been told numerous times by street preachers that God has condemned me and basically everyone who’s not a street preacher to Hell because God loves us so much. But can we overuse it?
I’d argue no today. I’d argue no through this year. As Burt Bacharach penned so long ago, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” We see a brokenness and hurt in the world; we feel brokenness and hurt all around us. As it has been said before and will be said again, Advent is in the time of year when it is most dark and most cold and most harrowing because we need the light the most. We need to cultivate hope, make peace, spread joy, and lean into love as we prepare for Christ.
The light shines on in the darkness; the darkness will not overtake the light.
One of the great ones of this church, Cliff Bishop, insists on asking folks if someone has told them they are loved today. And whether or not you answer affirmatively or negatively, he tells you the truth. “Well, I love you.” As we get closer to Christmas, as the lights grow brighter—let’s try to overuse the word love with the people we know, the people we don’t, and the people we really wish we didn’t. I don’t think we’ll burn out on it. I think, maybe, we’ll pass the light on and on and on.
You can only guess what the subject of the sermon will be on Sunday. I look forward to seeing you then.
Love (and shalom, y’all),