The First

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What is love?  What does it mean to love someone?

After watching a recent video posted by WongFu Productions, entitled “The Last” (posted above), I was forced to ask myself the same questions.  Many people love people for different reasons.  And as alluded to in the video, a lot of those reasons center around the age-old, Five Diagnostic W’s: Who, What, Where, When, and Why.  But either from watching the above production or from first-hand experience, we eventually notice that loving anyone for any one of these reasons exclusively is not enough.

You can’t just love someone for “who” they are or how high a pedestal you place them on.  You can’t just love someone for “what” they are, because even though all your best friends can’t all be your lover, admittedly your lover must be your best friend.   You can’t love someone simply because of “where” you are, or else the lines of commitment and circumstances begin to blur together.  You can’t just love someone for “when” they are, because then we would all be formulated to our 2nd-grade crushes, 7th-grade summer camp flings, or high school sweet hearts (while that has worked for some, it’s not the overwhelming majority).  And you can’t just love someone on the “why,” lest your love gets diluted to a generalized reason with no unique attachments of reciprocity geared towards that specific one person.  What’s different about that love than the one you show to others?

In an ideal world, the goal is meld all of these reasons together.  If you can love someone for who, what, where, when, and why they are, you’ve found your perfect match… your soul mate.  Once you find “The One,” you’re supposed to hold onto them so that they are the Last.

But even this sentiment is flawed.

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Gospel Connection:  We all fall short.  As much as we would like to love someone encompassing all five W’s and more, we will fail to do so on the constant level our lovers demand.  And even as much as we would like to have someone love us in this way, past scars remind us that, that almost never happens.  So where is the hope in love?  If no one can fulfill the need for us, nor can we satisfy that for others, why even bother trying?  The world will tell us to continue searching for that love.  At one point or another, someone will end up being your Last.

The Gospel tells us that the love we are searching for is already here.  When we place all our hope and love in someone who is just as flawed as we are, the status of that savior-figure will, at best, only remain as “surrogate.”  But when we place our identity in the One who came restore everything that is broken in this world, we realize that the work is already done.  We no longer search for the Last, but believe in the First who chose to love us before our search even began.

We love because he first loved us.
– 1 John 4:19 (ESV)

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