MUSINGS ON LOVE AND LOVING (2)
Even as God is Triune love and loving, I perceive complete genuine love and loving displaying three essential and distinct characteristics: the elements of giving, receiving and reciprocating.
Father loves (giving) Son and Spirit. Son and Spirit accept and embraces (receiving) Father’s love (giving). Son and Spirit reciprocate (reciprocating) by similarly loving Father in return. All this happens, in a reciprocal, simultaneous, synergistic, dynamic loving exchange.
If God is only ONE, and is love, then complete and eternal love, would ONLY be eternal self-loving. Then, the highest and greatest expression of love would ONLY be loving one’s self, for in eternity there is no genuine and authentic OTHER to love and to be loved in return. There is giving to and receiving from yourself in self- loving. However, there is no reciprocating, as there is no genuine and authentic other reciprocating love to yourself.
Jesus’ statements on the first and great commandment and the second like it, is instructive on the importance and genuineness of self, the other, love and loving.
In the second, Jesus introduced the element of love and loving to one’s relationship to one’s neighbour (the other). More than that, he linked it, as inseparable, of equal importance to the first ; to the love obligation that an Israelite had of loving LORD (YHWH) GOD (Elohim- Plural).
In so doing, even as Self and the Other is genuinely real in YHWH ELOHIM, so too, our individual self, and therefore, the self of another, is correspondingly, genuine and real. As such, our love and loving is also authentically and meaningfully real. I believe that this comforts and gives purpose to many who struggle with the notion of whether self or love and loving is authentically meaningful. Even as self and another freely and willingly initiate, create and complete love, giving, receiving and reciprocating love makes self and the other complete, whole and fulfilled.
Loving your neighbour as yourself is much more than just doing to others what you wish others will do to you or do not do to others what you do not wish others to do to you. God lives, rests and abides in us when we love our neighbour. It is written in 1 John 4: ”Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”  God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.”
Giving, receiving and reciprocating love and loving, to and from God and each other, not only enables us to know God and each other, it eventually makes us one in God. Jesus prayed: “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
 Matthew 22:37, 38
 Matthew 22:39
 See Matthew 22:34-39. The word commonly translated ‘and’ is actually Strong’s G1161 Greek word “ δέ - de” more accurately having the meaning of “but, moreover”. When paired with the Greek words “ὁμοία [(homoia) from homois ( See Strong’s G3664)”] αὐτῇ - literally ‘like it’” , the phrase has within it the connotation of “like but equally important.” “A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" New Living Translation. “And the second is like it in importance: ‘You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.’” The Passion Translation. The word “second” connotes distinction and inseparability rather than priority vis a vis the first. You cannot love God if you do not love thy our neighbour. By loving your neighbour, you are also loving God. See 1 john 4:7,16
 Deuteronomy 6:4,5 In Hebrew the word “יְהוָה-YHWH” is translated LORD, and the word “אֱלֹהֶיךָ-Elohim” is translated as God. Note that YHWH is ONE (Deuteronomy 6;4) but Elohim is Plural See Strong’s H430 – plural of אֱלוֹהַּ-‘elowahh meaning God.
 1 John 4:7,8
 1 John 4:12 NRSV See Strong’s G3306 translated as “lives” here
 1 John 4:16 NRSV See Strong’s G 3306 translated as “abides’ here. “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” NLT
 Other ancient manuscript reads be one in us
 John 17:20-24 NRSV