"Is this what we’re about? Cute love? Jesus suffered the whip and died on a cross so that we are free to shoot sugary looks at one another and drip cutesy clichés about warm-fuzzies and teddy-bear hugs? Do I need to go put on the creamy-pink vestments and my Bunny rabbit slippers? No. Thank God and all the Saints…no. ....If you think love is best expressed with chocolates or a Starbuck’s gift card or perhaps you think real love is best signified with a quickie in your dorm room, then you don’t know what love is. Love makes you. Love saves you. Love delivers you to the throne of the Most High! You are not loved b/c you deserve it. You are not saved b/c you’ve earned it. You were not created b/c God needs you. Your being, my being—we exist, gratuitously, without merit or debt b/c our God, in His Goodness, draws us out of nothingness and makes us body and soul. We exist in Love because of Love for Love so that we may return to Love to be Love forever. And this is sometimes a terrible pilgrimage—painful, disillusioning, exhausting and dirty. But, at the end, you will be the newest creature b/c you are now a new creature.
Love perfects the imperfect. It shines up, buffs off, and sharpens. If you will become a well-oiled, surgical tool for God’s Word, you will love. You will speak the truth, spread goodness, honor beauty; you will correct error, confront sin, forgive offenses; and you will build up the Body in service and open the doors of faith to the stranger. Your life in Christ is a gospel epic not a Hallmark poem. Love us as Christ loves us…right to the cross, to the tomb, and on to the Father’s right hand."
Fr. Powell writes a very powerful sermon about love (hat tip to Amy at Open Book for finding this) on his blog (click above for a link to read the entire post).