"Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever." -Paul

12 December 2007

Radically Beloved

by Ben

I read Isaiah 43-49.

"I'd sell of the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you."

What an image.

God's love for His people is so strong. I've been thinking a lot about love recently, partially due to some conversations about different forms of love. One of my students is struggling with some issues of emotional and spiritual love. Another is dealing with how to verbally differentiate between love toward family and romantic love. All the while, I'm sure they are all facing the temptations of physical love.

God. Love. God is love. What does that mean to you? In trying to teach on God's connection to love, I have suggested that God is all forms of love all wrapped up in one. But this picture is too complicated for us to grasp, which suggests that I'm on the right track.

I've heard someone describe God's love as "wild abandon." Still others have described God's people as "radically beloved."

So, going beyond cryptic phrases, what does that look like when it is lived out?

This is where we look to our Biblical characters, specifically how God interacted with them. We think of Abraham, Noah, Moses, and many others. But more than that, we can take the Bible as a whole to be an example. If I was to give the Ben's notes version of the Bible, it is a story of God trying desperately to show His people love. When we remember that the Bible is our story as well, we overlay the idea onto ourselves: it is a story of God trying desperately to show us His love.

We have only to respond to His love in kind.