The old idea – as old as ideas – that there may be God,
and that God actually cares about the likes of us,
is expressed in a variety of ways in the Hebrew Scriptures,
in writings and philosophies as old as the sand.
Simple thoughts that became, over time, very complicated:
this is a vast place I inhabit. I do not understand how it works.
It must have come from something (or someone) great…
I wonder if I matter to one such as that?
So are born the stories of creation, and notions of some superior divinity,
and into such thinking, there was a picture/pattern imposed, that was different than all the rest.
That there is One supreme, creative, compassionate, and curious deity,
who takes an interest in the welfare of Creation,
and tries desperately to maintain a connection that,
according to the story,
extends back to the very beginning of time.
In the image of God HE created them. Male and Female HE created them.
Genesis chapter one.
What began in imitation continued in curiosity and developed into a love affair –
For this God loves and invites our love;
not merely in return –tit-for-tat or quid pro quo –
but as a reasonable response to our being loved.
We forget that love is a two-way street.
In our perverse humanity, we love out of a sense of duty,
we strike bargains with love, we love for gain, and for other, purely selfish reasons.
Love is the grease that is supposed to silence
the squeaky wheel of the family dynamic,
but always with a price (we say).
Love goes unanswered – unrequited – unmentioned –
because of the fear of what might be expected between lovers.
Should I mention that it is Agape that interests me here…
Eros being quite another matter, that is not always very lovely in our time and place.
Agape – the Greek euphemism for that which is reciprocal –
caring one for the other; compassion beyond self-interest.
Love like that, as the saying goes, doesn’t just happen.
But our expectation is that love is our reward
for being patient, or righteous,
or somehow worthy of a relationship
that respects us and fulfils us and makes us better.
God has already made that offer –
open ended, respectful and full of promise –
and follows the offer of love unconditional
with the suggestion that since we were created in love,
we might be naturally inclined to know love when we saw it,
and to respond intuitively in kind.