I was listening to Michael Ramsden today and he tells the story of being in a cell group with his wife and 12 Teenage girls. The topic of discussion was “what is Love?” In a society where people fall in love, get together or get married and then fall out of love and then split or get divorced, is the pain and hassle really worth it? “What is love?” Michael quivered. Michael got all the girls to close their eyes and think about someone special, a boy, walking up to them at school or work and in a soft gentle voice saying: “I love you.” “How does that make you feel”, Michael asked. Smiles lit up the room. Now imagine the next day you see that same boy walking up to another girl and saying: “I love you.” Michael again asked: “How does that make you feel?” Smiles disappeared. Michael then went on to explain that the concept of “LOVE” is meaningless without the framework of exclusivity and commitment. We don’t want to share our love and we want love to be constant. When someone loves us, that love is focussed and consistent. One day I was sitting in a room on a bed. I was listening to a song by David Grey entitled “Sail Away With Me”. I was overwhelmed with exclusivity and commitment, with heart-felt passion for one person. She was standing in front of me, and with tears in my eyes I told her something that would change my life forever. I told her that I loved her and that I would always love her. The power and authenticity that pervaded that utterance still haunts me to this day.
The “Kingdom” involves not a blissful rest in static beatitude, but social interaction such as feasting. Similarly, the saving activity of GOD does indeed bring wholeness to individual persons; but this does not stand in contrast to the restoration of society. Personal wholeness is integrally involved with the renewal of social life, apparently even with certain transformations in the patterns of political-religious life.