1 John emphasizes love, specifically love for God and our “brother and sister”. Today’s reading emphasizes that it is “darkness” to say you love God without love for God’s family. Love is the central command of Christianity and 1 John makes that plain. It is a different love, however, that I note today, specifically our warning against “loving the world.” (1 John 2:15-17) Since “God so loved the world” (John 3:16) according to John elsewhere, why are we prohibited from similar love? To understand, we pay attention to the truth that the “lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” come from the world (1 John 2:16). The word “world” refers here to the system of earthly brokenness under the power of the devil, which influences all humans to behave wickedly. The “world’ God so loved represents the people darkened by this great “worldly system”. So to reject love for the world, this great power, is to hate that which causes others to walk in darkness. 1 John is showing us that great love for others must also be met with decisive rejection of that which is evil. Love only exists without hate in a world where evil is obliterated. If I love my child, I will hate a war that could endanger his life. In the same way John wants us to wed our love for brother and sister with hatred for what destroys them, namely love of the world and its passing darkness.