Communicating The Language of Agape

When I was in high school, my parents began teaching a class at our local church called "The 5 Love Languages."  You may have heard of this. It remains a very popular concept from Gary Chapman, exploring the idea of how humans give and receive love.  I'm not entirely sure how my parents were introduced to the concept themselves, but they were hooked immediately.  They found it extremely helpful in their relationship to know, for example, that my step-father's love language is "Service," revealing that the secret to making him feel loved and seen was to volunteer to do acts of service for him, the family, the house, etc.  As they learned and taught this concept, they became convinced that there is no such thing as an "unlovable" person, no such thing as an "enemy," there are only people whose love languages had yet to be decoded.  

How do you communicate love?  What does love sound like to you?  What does it look like?  Do you know how to clearly communicate loving-kindness to others?  Are you aware of how your neighbors receive love, and how they give love in return?  

It's the greatest commandment God ever gave:  Love your God and love your neighbor as yourself.  And yet...it seems that many of us have not been properly taught how to appropriately communicate this love...this strange and unsettling verb, originally represented in the New Testament through the Greek word "Agape."  Many of us don't know our own love language--we don't know what we need to receive from others in order to feel seen, appreciated, heard, loved--let alone the love language of others. 

This is why we'll be spending all of July and August exploring how to best communicate this language of Agape.  How do we understand God's love for us...and how does it spur us to give that love back to God and share it with others?  Guest Preacher Rev. Maren Tirabassi kicked off this effort yesterday in worship, calling our attention to the many ways God communicates with us through our every day distractions and interruptions.  In the weeks to come, we will see how this language is communicated to us and through us in the context of our individual lives and our local community.  

We look forward to learning alongside each of you, as we perfect our craft and practice presence with the God who is known as Love for All the Universe.  

 

Brian Gruhn