In Jesus Christ, we are loved by the eternal God.
From the windows of heaven and from the deep inner place where our spirits meet his, he ever waits to catch the eye of our hearts to whisper his attentive care with a love that is stronger than death.
We are never beyond his view. From before the song of creation when morning stars sang in wonder at God’s astounding plan … to the throng of angels worshiping the glory of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world for us, God has hummed the tune of a Lover over his beloved.
This is a love song more beautiful and enduring than any we have otherwise known. As we rise today to sometimes sentimental words which slip away or fail to grip our sense of being wholly true, this song of suffering love, love which crosses time and space to meet us at the cross, stands alone. It shapes the homes of our true selves in Christ and creates deep shalom in communities which sing the song of agape love free to serve no matter the response, no matter the cost.
As we reach out to others, we pick up the song and pass it along in harmony with him. We hear the flow of notes and rhythms falling from his voice to keep the song strong with melodic counterpoint of confirmation that he is in the dance of grace with us each time we turn the other cheek, each time we check ourselves to meet another’s need.
We sometimes lose the sounds of this tune with quick offense or defensive stance when we are not received as we would hope or find it hard to cope with thankless tasks.
Be still … and strain the ear until you hear again the hum of meekness from the One who left the throne of heaven to show what true love is and hum along.
Yes, there may be things that need to change, be confronted, be corrected, be rearranged in ourselves or our circumstances when we take a careful look. Cadences to movements needing chords of resolution. Codas bringing endings to recurring concerns. Specific service begun and ended. But the bass line, the basic underlying harmonic progression sustaining the song of our lives will sound more and more like ‘God so loved the world that he gave …’
The song of willing partnership with God may be a silent duet to much of a world which elevates the service of itself above the common good of his redemptive grace, but it breaks into full bodied chorus within the communal love of the Trinity where his glory is fully known and reflected. This divine love, completely undetermined or defined by our doing anything or not, is an eternal perfect love composed in concrete form in the created order as the living Word of God intent on making us his own to enjoy him forever.
We love because he first loved us. And this love is more than enough.
We don’t always feel love in the contexts or relationships in which we are called to serve. But we keep on singing his love song in the ministries he gives when we keep on listening to the song being sung over us as those who have been redeemed to bear his name, the comforting song of the God who rejoices over us with gladness, who quiets us by his love, who exults over us with loud singing.’ Zephaniah 3:17
‘Lord God, open our hearts to hear your love song carrying us through whatever this day holds. You have loved us with an everlasting love. You have drawn us with unfailing kindness. Sometimes we are hurt by less than loving responses from those with whom we live and serve, by inconsistencies, by acts of withholding and breaking of trust. Take us deeper than the cymbal crash of offense to hear what you are singing over us – lyrics which speak of a lavish covenant love shaping our identity, blessing us to be a blessing.
For those who struggle to perfect the sounds of love apart from resting in the love already ours in Christ, wash over them to drown all fear based giving, performing or pleasing with the song of love which will endure and is sustained by you. Amen.’