4 , 2019
God loves is a concept not missing from the Old Testament.
But that God IS love arrives in human thought only
when someone arrives who claims to the Son of God
- begotten not made. We explored that truth a little
bit last week, discovering such concepts as mutuality,
interdependence and eternal oneness.
when the Father loves someone else, too? When God
loves us? That love is also poured out into the being
of the Son - the Father holds nothing back in his
self-gift to the Son. Thus, the Son begins to love
us with the same love that arises in the Father, but
now it is with a Son's love, the love of one who loves
as a brother loves.
is the love of the Son for the Father's creation that
he wishes to possess it as his own. To do this, he
must take this creation to himself. Saint Paul tells
us that he does this by emptying himself of his equality
with the Father and takes on the life of a slave,
obedient to even the law of death, death on a cross.
If we forget that we are sinners and mortal, we will
begin to think that God loves us because of some intrinsic
lovability in us. But if we remember our mortality
and our guilt, we begin to realize that Christ loves
us because of his love for the Father and because
of the Father's love for us. We begin to realize that
the crucifixion is not some arbitrary event, but the
perfect expression of love for those who are worthy
of death because of sin and are sinners because they
are murderers (starting with Cain). We realize that
the Crucified Christ is what it looks like to take
humanity as one's own; that in Christ the Father sees
and loves what he sees in us - mortality and a life
lived without love, or a partial love at best.
one of the finest hymnographers of all time speaks
of Christ on the cross as emptied of everything but
love. I discovered that phrase just a few days ago;
it is a perfect summary of the how that we are saved:
by love, for love, to love and for love's sake only.
understanding of God as a necessary element in a logical
universe is not enough to beget a religion. Nor does
the notion of God as Creator/Covenanter succeed in
producing a new vision of what it means to be human.
But the notion that God is Father - and, so, that
God is Love, as is the Son - allows us to see ourselves
as we are - pretty vile - and, so, to understand enough
about the love God is for us, that we begin to understand
how little we have known of ourselves, of God, of
love and of salvation.
back up a bit to account for the Holy Spirit in the
life of the God who is Love. But we will never understand
his work in our lives until we have begun to contemplate
the mysterious depths of the crucifixion of Love.
and truly and sometimes crossly yours,