Who wrote the book of love? John did. This entire chapter helps explain the connection between God and love. "God is the subject and love is the descriptor" (from Craig Koester at Luther Seminary). It is tempting to try and work that the other way around. Love is God. but that is a temptation would should avoid. Elevating love to a divine status is avoiding the sacrificial nature of God's love. Far too often Christians try and avoid a bloody incarnational account of love and prefer the precious moments, hallmark versions instead.
1 John 4:9-10 "God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins."
Agape love, sacrificial love is often hard to discuss because we prefer eros or philo (emotional, physical and intellectual love). Everyone always wants to have 1 Corinthians 13 read at weddings thinking the couple is a reflection of the love that Paul unfolds in that brilliant and poetic chapter. But, they are NOT! Paul is unfolding the love that God pours into the world when Christ died on the cross.....a sacrifice that we might know and love the God who would go to this end to show God's love for us.
John intends for the love that we share with one another is a reflection, representation of the love that God gives.
Lord, help us to receive your love in such a way that we see you as the source of all love, encouraged to share in small and sacrificial ways of our own lives so that the world may come to fall in love with you....again. - Amen