20 December 2011

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

Why did God create men?  What was His motive?  Why -- love, and love cannot be anything else but itself.  God made us because He loved us.  What does God desire of us?  What does love always desire?  Love does not ask for gifts.  Love asks for love.  -- B. von Schenk, *The Presence* p. 45.


Unknown said...

“Love cannot be anything else but itself”? Of course, if it were something else, it would not be love.

Love does not ask for gifts but for love? If the love is freely given, then it is a gift. But apparently God does not want gifts. So God desires love that He somehow has to pay for? That may be true in an ultimate sense, which I don’t think is what von Schenk meant. God paid the price so that we could love Him and live with Him in eternity, not because He wanted our love. But really, are we actually expected to make sense of the words we are reading or should we just melt inwardly because of a string of pious words from a pastor, theologian, or scholar?

Truly I say to you, love does not desire anything but to give. Perfect love is not disappointed when it is not returned. Many years ago I added these words to my personal daily prayer, “Dear Father, please help me to love instead of wanting to be loved, or mistaking the one for the other.” We cannot love perfectly in this world, and we should understand that the desire to be loved is one of our human shortcomings, not a reflection of the image of God.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

William Weedon said...


I think you misunderstand his point. God's love desires love for us! His love desires us to have a share in His blessedness, which is precisely the glorious light of His undimmed, undiminishable love. He would have us know this joy intimately.

Love caused Your incarnation;
Love brought You down to me;
Your thirst for my salvation
Procured my liberty.
O Love beyond all telling
That led You to embrace
In love, all love excelling,
Our lost and fallen race.

Chris said...

Fr., you meant "men" right, not "mean?"

William Weedon said...

Thanks, Chris! Fixed!!!

Unknown said...

Dear Rev. Weedon: everything you write is true. But nowhere does it say “What does God desire of us? …. Love asks for love.” The mystery of God’s love and the Gospel is that God asks nothing from us. He gives. He delights in whatever His children return to Him in acts of charity, worship, praise, thanksgiving and all the good works that He has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Whatever He asks of us, He asks for our own good. He asks nothing for Himself. If He did, it would no longer be love. I know I can write that, but I cannot comprehend it, but we all will when we see Him and love as He does.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

PS: the "word verification" for this posting is "prosti". In Russian, that means, "forgive me."

David Rosenkoetter said...

Pr. Weedon, your quoting the hymn clarifies alot here. A similar hymn which seems to speak to the same thing is, "O Love, How Deep, How Broad How High." In the second and third stanzas, the oft repeated phrase "for us," shows our Lord self-giving which draws from us trust in Him and guttwrenching compassion for one another (splachna).

Pastor Peters said...

What does God desire? The fulfillment of His commandments. What are the commandments. Love Him above all things and neighbor as self (or as Christ has loved us). The love that was once impossible has been made possible in Christ, in whom we were created anew with His life in us. Love created us. Love redeemed us. Love equips us to respond to Him with the very love He has shown to us.

William Weedon said...

Now wait just a cotton picking moment, Fr. Peters. Are you IMPLYING that WE love BECAUSE He first loved us???

Unknown said...

It seems to me that Pastor Peters is very accurate in his choice of words, “Love equips us to respond to Him with the very love He has shown to us.” If we were not equipped, that is given a new nature, we would be unable to love God. The fact that God loved us first is the ULTIMATE cause for us loving Him; in other words, everything we are able to do that pleases God is the result of His love for us. But the PROXIMATE cause is that he has, as Pr. Peters writes, “equipped us to respond to Him with the very love He has shown to us.” If we teach that our love for God is a type of psychological reaction to our realizing what God has done for us, then there would be no need for Baptism, would there? Unfortunately, the idea that “because of everything Jesus has done for us, we now do so and so out of gratitude” has become the mantra among many Lutheran preachers, who don’t seem to understand that this puts the ability to love into ourselves, without the direct intervention of God. Not so the Gospel.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart