Part of me loves Valentine’s Day because of how it celebrates the love we have for one another, whether it be through our romantic relationships or the ones we have with our friends and family. That is a beautiful thing, and something worth celebrating, to a certain extent. But truthfully, if I am going to sit here and think about love in and out of relationships, the only one truly worth celebrating is the love we have in Christ. After all, that is where all love stems from. I think 1 John speaks to this well. 1 John 3–4 so beautifully describes the gift of love given to us by Christ, and how we are to share that with the world.
Recently I’ve begun a habit of something I like to call devotional poetry. Whenever I’m reading something in the Bible I’ve taken to writing poems around verses and themes that have stuck out to me. Though love is very broad, I tried to capture very simply the beauty and overwhelming love that stems from being in a community of Christ-followers.
We are not perfect. We do not always love well, but we try and try again because “if God so loved us, we also then ought to love one another” (1 John 4:8). I hope that this little poem encourages you in this truth.
To Live in Love
I have known love not in tender words
Or soft embraces,
But in word and truth,
In saving graces.
We have passed out of death and into life
For how we have loved one another–
We have been carried when times were heavy
Like debt forgiven for debtor.
I have never been left alone
Whether in body or in soul;
This family has become my home
Through Christ we are made whole.
We who believe have all things in common,
In praise and in grief;
We have endured every season
And will never taste defeat.
By this we know love–
The life that’s been given for us,
We may be exiles on this earth
But the holy heart knows its worth.
To live is Christ, to die is gain;
We will never be the same.
– – – – –
Verses referenced directly:
- 1 John 3:14 – “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other.” (NIV)
- Acts 2:44 – “And all who believed were together and had all things in common.” (ESV)
- 1 John 3:16 – “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (NIV) / “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (ESV)
- Philippians 1:21 – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Verses lines were based around:
- The line “Through Christ we are made whole” comes from Colossians 2:10, “and you have been filled in him (Jesus), who is the head of all rule and authority.”
- The line “And will never taste defeat” comes from John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (ESV)
- The line “We may be exiles on this earth” comes from Hebrews 11:13, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” (ESV)