I mean all it takes is a minor electrical glitch and we are reduced to primitive conditions pretty quickly.
Recently all the sockets in the house tripped and I was suddenly faced with no kettle or toaster, no phone or laptop charger and possibly worst of all no shower.
While an enforced trip to the coffee shop for breakfast might be endurable (they might even let me charge my phone), the thought of a day without hot water or landing on a neighbour’s doorstep early Sunday morning in bathrobe to use their facilities is too near a return to the Dark Ages for comfort!
I exaggerate but there’s a point to it. It’s hard to live without the essentials.
We could debate what is or isn’t ‘essential’ but everyone seems to have a built in sense of need. We feel we need certain things to survive.
The most essential of all, I suggest, is love.
I can do without TV this weekend and suffer cold water but don’t ask me to do it without love. Even if loved ones are far apart, they need to know someone out there cares. We need to feel valued, missed, cherished by someone.
Some ideologies only love those who are rich, powerful, considered beautiful or glamorous. If karma dealt you a bad hand and you were born untouchable, well, tough!
One of the things that people in an often cruel 1st century culture remarked about the early Christians was the love they showed, even to poor ‘untouchables’ who could never repay their kindness.
In this they were following the teaching of Jesus Who said, ‘As the father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love.’ (John 15v9) The Apostle Paul spoke of love as ‘the greatest’ thing and ‘the most excellent way’. (1 Corinthians 13)
We’ve been thinking a lot recently in church about the Holy Spirit and what do you know? One of the spiritual ‘fruits’ He produces when He lives welcomed in our hearts is love! He ‘testifies’ within us that we are beloved children of God, prompting us to trust the Almighty Ruler and Judge of all as ‘Abba’, ‘Our Father in heaven’. Knowing that we, flawed sinners that we are, are treasured, that Jesus gave His life that we might share His home forever, teaches us to treat others with loving respect, mercy and generosity.
This essential thing God gives us is not just to be savoured and enjoyed with grateful adoration.
It’s to be shared!
As our Master said, ‘This is my command: Love each other.’ (John 15v17)