The Picture of Love

God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4:16
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The Picture of Love
If we were to talk for a long time about how love is a high, noble quality in the soul, the most precious and perfect virtue of all—as the philosophers and teachers of works do—that is all nothing compared to what he loudly pours forth, saying, "God Himself is love, and His essence is nothing but pure love." If someone wanted to paint God accurately, then he would have to find a picture that is nothing but love, since the divine nature is nothing other than the fiery furnace and ardor of love, which fills heaven and earth. In turn, if someone could paint and picture love, then he would have to make a picture which is not artistic or human, not angelic or heavenly, but God Himself. So the apostle can paint Wings here in such a way that he makes out of God and love just one thing. He does this to coax and draw us through this noble, precious, and delightful picture all the more to strive also to have love for one another and to be on our guard against envy, hatred, and dissension.

From Several Beautiful Sermons from I John (Luther's Works 78:371)
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