This weekend, we will be joining the millions from around the world in watching the best tennis players on center court at The Championships at Wimbledon. It is the tennis weekend of the year. I for one am looking forward to this spectacular, as I do every year.
We will be hearing the word ‘love’ a whole lot during these matches. It struck me one day that, in tennis, ‘love’ means nothing. Zero. Yeah, if you have ‘love’, it means that you are losing, and soon the game will be over, the set and the match. How does one explain this concept? But why do they use ‘love’ as a score in tennis? And how come it stands for nothing? Well, I have read about a few theories.
It is possible that it derives from the French expression for “the egg” (l’oeuf) because an egg looks like the number zero. Another possibility comes from the Dutch expression iets voor lot doen, which means something for praise, implying no monetary mistakes. Yet another theory on the origins of the use “love” comes from the acceptance that, at the start of any match, when scores are at zero, players still have “love for each other.” (wikipedia.org) You decide which one to go with.
On a tennis court is the only place I know where “love” means nothing. Love loses. At the cross is the only place I know, where “love” means everything. This “love” is today displayed via the local church. “Love” wins, every time; because “love” has already won.
John 3: 16, “For God so loved (so much of love) … that He gave His One and only Son …