I confess that I do, sitting outside in this warm May sun, coffee taste on my tongue, the bird feeder swinging after our friends have their fill, the squirrels chasing each other up and around the trees, the palette of earthly colors.
Yes, I do love this world.
But how is that right, when the apostle John tells me/us/you “Do not love this world or the things in this world”? And how could he write that when he also wrote that God loved this world so much he sent his Son in the flesh to save it?
Of course, it’s a commonplace of interpretation that “world” is used in two senses. One is the world that is out of orbit, away from God, the world “systems” that are so wrong and evil. That’s what the apostle meant. The other is the “world” of God’s creation that he is redeeming, all creatures great and small, you and I for whom Christ died.
Here’s what Thomas Kelly wrote. That God calls us in two opposing directions at once. He tears us from earthly ambitions and attachments. But he quickens in us his own painful concern for the world.
“He plucks the world out of our hearts, loosening the chains of attachment. And He hurls the world into our hearts, where we and He together carry it in infinitely tender love.”(The Testament of Devotion)
Lord, help me today to love you above all things. And help me to love the world in which I live and move today as You do.