Loving Others, One Soul at a Time
To be loved by another — truly, deeply, enduringly — is perhaps the most powerful experience of our humanity. In the faith begun at the baptismal font, Christians know this love: what it is to be loved by Jesus and to love Him, to live in Him and to live by Him, having contentment in every circumstance (Phil. 4:11b–13).
Admittedly, in our fallen state, our awareness of this love waxes and wanes. Nevertheless, His magnificent love endures. So the apostle offers an encouraging reminder: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. … In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:7, 9–10). This is uncompromising, sacrificial, abiding love!
“It takes two to tango.” No one can love or be loved in a vacuum. Love intentionally takes on flesh, accompanied by willful movement and action toward another. First and foremost, this is God in Christ for us. Being loved by Him in this unworldly way — in His incarnation, suffering, death and resurrection — is the only thing that enables each of us, as individual members of Christ’s Body, to embody and return that love — truly, deeply, enduringly — to another. It happens person to person, even within the wider context of the Church — a multitude, but nonetheless a multitude constituted by many faces, every one unique. In this throng, you are there.
Consider the individuals loved in the following pages of this issue of Lutherans Engage the World. The Gospel is spoken from one person’s mouth into another’s ears. Mercy is delivered from the hands of one who serves to another who is suffering. Joyfully Lutheran, we proceed along the way of love, one soul at a time.
Rev. Kevin D. Robson
Chief Mission Officer, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod