Love is abstract or merely an idea that we must put into practice or use. It is like a body without hands and feet. It speaks, but unless we put meaningful action into it, it remains mysteriously abstract. For that reason man has defined love as sensual and as charitable. We define love by our actions, behavior, and civility (I Corinthians 13). No one has illustrated love in action better than Jesus our Lord (John 3:16).
God is Spirit, how then does He love (John 4:24)? This is how, “He gave us His One and Only Son” (John 3:16). In His Son, love moves from the abstract to what is real. Jesus represents the arms and legs of God. Through Jesus, God embraces us and carries us back home from where we all have strayed (John 14:6; Luke 15:3-7). It was not enough to say, “I love you” without showing what love really was. In Jesus, love became a person that was willing to die and show how far God’s love has gone for us (John 15:13).
In a raging battle in World War I, two soldiers looked at the devastation and one asked, “Where is God?” The other pointed at two carrying the wounded and said, “Look, there is God” (Wallis 1093). Four times in my life, death knocked at my door and every time God sent his angels to rescue me prematurely from eternity. These were not spirits but my mother, a Polish enemy and stranger, a German and an Italian, a number of physicians and family and friends. These people where God’s arms and legs that embraced and carried me. There is one more thing. Like the paralytic, I had to be carried (Mark 2:3-5). Then there was a time when I had to consent to be carried. I had to believe that I needed them (John 3:16 b).
Friends, love is helpless without our arms and legs. It does remind us to think about why Jesus equated the love for our neighbor with the love for God (Luke 10:25-37). What did Jesus tell the underhanded expert that tried to trap him? “Go and do likewise.” Whether we are Christians or of other faiths, we demonstrate what love is by our actions (Matthew 25:40).