My reason for writing today is purely as an appeal that our world might be overwhelmed by the LOVE of God. That our society might be transformed by the LOVE of God. That the church might demonstrate “that all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NASB)
We have all become recipients of the Love of the Father, the Love of God, the Fathers Love which ever way we say it, it really does not matter as long as we are affected and transformed by this LOVE and continue to transform our world through this love. A Love that brings security, love that brings belonging, love that so imbibes my being that overwhelms us, accepts, propels and is making us like God.
May the love of God overwhelm us daily and enable us to be so impacted, putting us the right way up in order that we become the Love of the Father to our neighbours, friends, family, society and world, being the love of God in the streets of life.
We are introduced in Genesis 1 to “light” this light, the light of God is seven times brighter than the sun, the scriptures tell us, it is the essence of the Father God. A light that was there days before the orbs of light, sun and moon were created, this is God. Light breaking into formlessness and void making itself known when there was no essence, transforming all it touched. This is a specialty of God to pour into empty, nothingness, a dark soup of lostness, God’s essence! By Matthew 5 the people of God are to be the literal LIGHT on a hill never to be hidden, we have become the very essence of God in our world. Light carriers, so it is to be with the essence of God in every term, as God is LIGHT and LOVE, the LOVE that its seen in us and through us, extending out from us. Love is expansive and ever-increasing, perhaps we can see this in this instance, when we are told in Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,” his government, is his love extending just like God. This Father the God of all is the ever arriving God, Gods love is ever arriving and so we are to love with an ever arriving love. Perhaps that is a better way of looking at Romans 5:5 “…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us…”, it is ever arriving to us and through us towards our created world.
I am challenged with what is seemingly happening today the popularising of the flavour of our day in our Christ following walk in making Jesus and his Gospel of the Kingdom part of our consumer society. It is becoming what I can get, MY feelings, MY destiny, MY wants. MY needs and MY stuff.
I think it was Eugene Peterson who once wrote in “Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading” on the trinity of our modern world and saw it as my needs, my wants and my feelings he went on to say
“My needs are non-negotiable. My so-called rights, defined individually, are fundamental to my identity. My need for fulfilment, for expression, for affirmation, for sexual satisfaction, for respect, my need to get my own way – all these provide a foundation to the centrality of me and fortify my self against diminution.
My wants are evidence of my expanding sense of kingdom. I train myself to think big because I am big, important, significant. I am larger than life and so require more and more goods and services, more things and more power. Consumption and acquisition are the new fruits of the spirit.
My feelings are the truth of who I am. Any thing or person who can provide me with ecstasy, with excitement, with joy, with stimulus, with spiritual connection validates my sovereignty. This, of course, involves employing quite a large cast of therapists, travel agents, gadgets and machines, recreations and entertainments to cast out the devils of boredom or loss or discontent – all the feelings that undermine or challenge my self-sovereignty”.
It seems agreeable to be the consumer, being a consumer with the love of God rather than being consumed by the love of God, of the Father, the Fathers Love. The Love of God presented in order that I have an inner feel good experience, it gets my self loved and its all about my inner feelings rather than being about the maturity of the whole body. This Love is to come to each of us, to go through us so that is might extend out from us as the LOVE of the Father, touching life around us, loving humanity, loving creation.
What a great lesson of love, Jesus is to us, he explained love fully, what a great attitude he displayed as he was the love of the Father, Fathers love, the love of God, a lesson for us to be just like him. I think of John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Maybe it’s not just talking about our physical life. Perhaps it is the life we know, the friends we have and loose. Maybe I show love when I lay down the life we have together to be the bridge for you, to be the servant that enables you, while you walk over me to reach your maturity, it is the love I have to be a friend in helping others when I see a wrong attitude or action. May be this love shows when you bring a confrontation to me of my wrong ways, may be it is the forgiveness I freely give when you let me down or show unkindness. Maybe we show no greater love than when we are counted with people who others consider tainted.
Becoming friends with those who have been cut off, those who we say are judged for their life style. Being the love of God to the down-and-out, the ones who don’t have anything, the prostitute, the destitute, the sexually different, the social law-breaker, the nobody. To love here is a defining moment of our life, ministry, and career. Sure, you may lose a few relationships, unfortunately, but I can’t find a better way of extending or being the love of the Father and loosing relationships for loving like God? These friends so-called, even these we are to love, as we love all, I doubt they would have cared for me in my failures and spoken in love? So really, I lost nothing. If being the love of the Father, being the friend causes some to hate and reject me what can I do but continue to LOVE and extend the essence of God into the fabric of life
The love of the Father says to me and compels me to lay my life down for the fringe, for it is in the fringe God works, often we think That god is at work in the centre, with the celebrity, those who command, but, I see the scriptures narrative saying God is in the fringes of life, and seems to be there in greatest power – Love of the Father, the Fathers Love what ever way you say it, extend it into the fringes of people’s lives, and to people who are on the fringe. The Davids, the Gideon’s, the Paul’s, the disciples, Jesus himself born in a cave, laid in the feeding trough, being the bread to all. The Love of the Father from you to others it’s not just about me being but it’s about me extending love of God through me.
Consumer of love or lover of all?
Consumed by the Father of consumer of ???