Jesus and Love – James Alison

We often speak of God as love, but what do we mean by that? Often “love” is used to mean “don’t take sides,” “remain neutral,” but is this reflective of who God is revealed to be in Jesus? I like James Alison’s response to this question:

God’s love cannot be understood, in the first place, somewhat counter to a certain, tendency of ours, as a series of passionate heart throbs or the pouring forth of a general sweetness. It consisted, and consists, in making available a rather particular human living out. Perhaps this is not what we want. What we want, when we want to be loved, is to be taken, cuddled, told that everything’s okay, that we’re okay, that there’s a general feeling of all being well. We want to be made to feel better about the situation in which we find ourselves. Well, it was not thus, apparently, that Jesus imagined love.

 He seems to have insisted on bringing into being something which doesn’t correspond at all to our desires, like a boat which is heading off somewhere else. It is not as though he is consoling us in our small timorous identities; rather he is furnishing the means for us to take part in a different show, something which calls us to be something different from what we thought we were. – Excerpt from Raising Able p. 75-76