Monday morning and I’m stumbling down the straight and narrow, not doing my best in fighting the good fight of faithful living. I am tired, sad, and angry as I read the news about my town, my country, and the world. Aimlessly flipping pages in my Bible landed me at Romans 8:35-39, which tells me that not “tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword” can separate me from the love of my God, Who loved me first and Who is love. I suspect we all need this reminder today in the middle of our world gone mad. Since God is love (I John 4:8), then we can substitute Love for God in Scripture’s love chapter, I Corinthians 13:
God is patient and kind,
God believes, bears, hopes, and endures all things,
God never fails.
Although God is not a man, Jesus addressed God as “Father (the parent-in-charge).” And although fathers discipline their children and have expectations, they love them deeply. We are told to go and sin no more (John 8:11); we are charged to work out our salvation (Philippians 2:12-13); but it begins and ends with Love. I daresay we’re like Eyeore, walking around with a constantly dripping cloud of love over us (only happier!).
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has written, “Christianity is not an intellectual packet of dogma. Christianity is a love story, a love affair with Christ.” When Jesus walked the earth, He loved people with God’s love: powerfully and gently, recklessly and pointed, joyfully and suffering, earthly and heavenly.
Look at a crucifix. Love.
Look at the altar as the priest raises our Lord’s Body. Love.
Look at God’s passion for His beloved (the book of Hosea). Love.
Look at Scriptural descriptions of heaven (Revelation 22:3-5 and I Corinthians 2:9). Love.
Today, please join me in taking a few minutes from our important labors to remember and to revel in how much we are loved. He loved us first. He loves us best. God is Love.
*Let God’s Light Shine Forth. Doubleday. 2005