This Week at The Falls Church–February 27, 2011
We look to our law courts to insure that justice is done, but in personal relationships love must supersede justice.
The most startling quality of God is his unlimited, unconditional love. It was perhaps the most difficult concept for Jesus’s disciples to grasp–at the heart of his final discourse with the twelve, Jesus wanted so much for them to accept this truth. He couldn’t say it any more plainly than he did. “The father loves you” (John 16:27)
“We live in a world awash in love stories. Most of them are lies. They are not love stories at all–they are lust stories, sex-fantasy stories, domination stories. From the cradle we are fed on lies about love. This would be bad enough if it only messed up human relationships–man and woman, parent and child, friend and friend–but it also messes up God relationships. The huge, mountainous reality of all existence is that God is love, that God loves the world. Each single detail of the real world that we face and deal with day after day is permeated by this love. But when our minds and imaginations are crippled with lies about love, we have a hard time understanding this fundamental ingredient of daily living.” (Eugene Peterson)
No biblical story illustrates the relentless love of God better than Hosea, the prophet of love. Hosea was in himself a parable of God’s love lived out in the midst of Israel … a godly man commanded to love a prostitute and have children with her, to forgive her wanderings, and keep taking her back. So is God’s love for us; he comes after us at our worst. He loves us as parents love their only but wayward child. Read Hosea 11 some time, and marvel!
Jesus revealed the heart of God to us on the Cross. His forgiveness is greater than our wickedness.
Perhaps the greatest problem in human relationships is unforgiveness. Don’t hold on to resentment.
“Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you so that you may show yourselves to be children of your father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:40)
The Rev. Dr. John Yates II
Rector, The Falls Church