By Jon Wren
In the late 1980s, author Maggie Gallagher asserted that almost all human relationships fall into one of two categories. The first category she described as, “You are mine because I love you.” In such a relationship, the affection and love can be real, genuine, and significant, but never completely permanent. That’s because in the relationship, “you are mine” is contingent on the feeling, “because I love you.” According to Gallagher, this type of relationship is the most common, but also the most destructive for a person’s well-being because it’s based upon feelings and perceptions that can change at any time.
The second category of human relationships Gallagher described is, “I love you because you are mine.” In such a relationship, the warm feelings and affection, “I love you,” can still vary, but they are subordinate to the commitment to the relationship—“because you are mine.” This type of relationship, while less common, was shown to have significant positive impacts on a person’s health, well-being, and overall emotional state because of the trust it builds and the security it provides.
As Christ followers, Communion provides us with an important reminder that we are deeply loved and cherished by God with no conditions or strings attached. We are loved by Christ because we belong to Christ. Communion provides us with an opportunity to reflect and be thankful that the love God has for us isn’t something we need to keep earning or deserving. Christ’s work on the cross has been completed and we are invited to simply rest in the safety and security of his love and care for us.
As we take Communion, let’s remember the words of Scripture, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).
Jon Wren works with the Office of Civil Rights, addressing the impact of gentrification on school desegregation. He loves history, college football, and once got a ticket for driving too slowly.