"God is Love" I John 4:8

Introduction to Christian Minimalism

I think it is reasonable to believe there is a God.

When we consider the enormous expanses of outer space with its billions of galaxies each with billions of stars and then consider the incredible detail at the microscopic and sub-atomic scales. I think it is reasonable to conclude that there is a transcendent creator of all that is.

But there is little evidence of a loving God.

The universe is incredibly harsh and brutal. There are earthquakes and volcanos, droughts and floods, natural disasters of every nasty sort. Mankind is plagued with disease and deformity, starvation and death. Every living thing is some other living thing's lunch. And that's just here on earth, space is an extremely hostile environment. And let's not forget that big asteroid that is going to destroy us all.

We are torn between two conflicting beliefs. One that everything is predetermined according to some unchangeable laws of physics. The universe is a giant watch with God as the watch maker, preset to run its mechanical course without change until the end of time. The other, that everything is completely random and chaotic with no order or meaning to anything. That we are nothing more than the result of some sort of random collision of events.

Both seem rather cold to say the least.

And yet love does exist.

I know that love exists because I have felt it with family members and close friends.

Love is the one thing in the universe that doesn't seem to fit.

Christian Revelation

As Christians we believe that Jesus Christ, the Divine Son of God, came into this world to reveal God directly to us.

This revelation is well summarized by the Apostle John in his First Epistle:

"My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.

"Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love."

"This is the revelation of God's love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him;

"Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins,

"My dear friends if God loved us so much, we too should love one another.

"No one has ever seen God; but as long as we love one another God remains in us and his love comes to its perfection in us.


"We have recognized for ourselves, and put our faith in, the love God has for us. God is love and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

"Love comes to its perfection in us when we can face the day of Judgment fearlessly; because even in this world we have become as he is.

"In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear: because fear implies punishment and no one who is afraid has come to perfection in love.

"Let us love, then, because he first loved us." I John 4:7-12, 16-19;

Jesus tells us there is something better than the observed universe.

Something transcendent and yet right here.

Not merely that there is a loving God, but that God IS love and that we can experience him in our lives today. Right now.

We can know and experience God directly by loving others.

Don't take my word for it - try it.

This presence of God can be felt quite easily experimentally.

Just perform a kind act for someone else, anybody else.

Do something positive for someone that you don't have to do ... and think about it.

It is a place to start on a life transforming path.

Jesus Christ is Lord!

All Bible quotations are taken from the New Jerusalem Bible, published by Doubleday, New York 1985.

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(c) 2006 Thomas F. Swezey All rights reserved.