September 13, 2019
Scripture teaches us that “ God is love .” (1 John 4:8).
Think about that for a minute: God IS love.
Most of us, when we hear that statement, think, “God loves ” as in, “yeah, sure, one of the things that God does -- one of the activities that God engages in -- is love.”
While that is true, it falls far short of what the Bible teaches us.
Here’s what I mean: it’s not just that “God loves .
God really is love.
Love is not just “one of the things that God does.”
Love is God’s very identity; love is who God is.
This Sunday’s lessons are all about God’s relentless love for humanity: God’s grace-filled insistence on loving us even when (especially when!) we don’t “deserve” it.
Here’s the thing: this Sunday’s passages are not outliers. Throughout the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, the Bible teaches us that because God is love, God seeks out lost humanity. The story the Bible tells is God saying "have I told you lately that I love you?"
God does not passively sit in Heaven observing us drift (or run!) away. No, God actively (proactively!) pursues us when we have lost our way. God continuously reminds us of our truest identity ( God’s beloved sinners ) when we have forgotten it.
God sees a lost humanity, and in the person of Jesus, God models what “found” looks like.
That’s because God never gives up until the lost are found.
What’s more, much to the chagrin of the Religious Elite, in the person of Jesus, God sought out – didn’t just welcome, but proactively sought out -- those on the periphery and made them part of God’s inner circle.
Or more accurately, in the person of Jesus, God destroyed the whole notion of an inner circle by stretching out God’s arms of love so wide that all of us are -- and all of us is * -- included in God’s saving and loving embrace.
See you Sunday,
*When we hear “God saves all of us,” we should think of that in both senses: 1) God saves “ each and every one of us /all of humanity;” and 2) God saves “ all aspects of our individual personality .” Dwell on that thought a while. Or on this . It'll do you good!