Glenn McDonald points out that the Bible is not the story of God’s power. It is the story of God’s love. Most of us have days in which we wish God would use His power to clean up this mess of a planet. But God is working steadily and relentlessly by another means. God is healing our fractured world by putting His love into human hearts. He is freeing us from self-centeredness, one hour at a time, just so we can love others deeply and wisely. Learning to love is what life is all about.
There are frequently major setbacks in this process. Those failures, jar us when they arise from the faith community, because we hope and expect for better things. But God’s strategy is to invest in this world through us, His Church. The Lord assures us that despite our ineptitude at loving, He is never going to come up with another plan.
Dennis Kinlaw, a former President of Ashbury College in Kentucky, remembers what it meant to Him when he became a grandfather. The first time he held his little grandchild in his arms he was overcome by emotion. Tears came to his eyes and he asked himself,” Is there anyone who feels about me the way I feel about this child?” The answer came to him immediately as a resounding, “Yes, and even more… God Himself.”
It is impossible to overstate how committed God is to share His love with us. When I offer my love to somebody else, and that person chooses not to love me in return, I feel pain. I hurt because I have lost something.
When God offers His love to us, and we refuse to love Him in return, God feels pain too. But God’s hurt is different. God feels pain not because He has lost something, but because we have lost something. We have lost the most important thing in the world… the chance to experience the saving and transforming care of our Creator.
As the Apostle Paul put it in Ephesians 3:17-18, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”
Learning to love is what life is about. In His relationship with us, God will never settle for less.
-Rev Dr William Lewis