"Whenever I get
gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow
Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of
hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere.
Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there –
fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends,
girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I
know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or
revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky
feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around."
Love Actually appears to
have quickly become a Christmas classic for some people. Whilst there is no
doubt that it divides opinion (is it simply a feel good reflection of people's
Christmases or emotional schmulz?) it does raise a somewhat interesting
question and that is do we live in a world dominated by love or something else?
What is it which lies at the heart of the world we live in?
For some people there is
nothing which lies at the heart of our world. It came from nothing, it will
return to nothing and what happens in between is nothing more than what
happens. Love happens because some people choose to love but in the same way
some choose to hate, some choose to be angry, some choose to use people. Life
is a random mix with nothing at its centre.
For others the world is
hard and grim. It is survival of the fittest and so life is fundamentally a
survival challenge. It is often tough, the world is often hostile and we have
to battle through it as best as we can. Find the little pockets of happiness we
can whenever and wherever possible. Love may provide some of these pockets but
it is equally likely to provide much of the hostility and hurt we so often
Love actually is clear
what it thinks. The dominating thing in our world is love. You don't have to
look hard to see it and it is that which repeatedly flows out of us. Our
natural desire is to love. Now much though it may pain me to say it the Bible
agrees. The heart of humanity is love and it is love for one very specific
reason. The heart of humanity is love because we were made in the image of a
God who is himself love. The Bible could not make it any clearer - People love
because God loves. Now anyone can say they
love someone but God is a God who actively loved us. That is what Jesus coming
to earth is all about. It is about a God who loved is enough to come into this
messed up world as a baby and ultimately die so that we could be welcomes into
God's perfect family of love. Broken though humanity is it keeps reverting back
to the image in which it was made. We cannot help but express love and if you
look around you I guess Love Actually is right you really do see it all around
you. So it is right that at Christmas we repeatedly are surrounded by love - We
send messages of love, we watch films about love, we spend time with people we
love because as you catch a glimpse of the God who loved you enough to come as
a baby it is not surprising that love is at the heart of our celebrations.