Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Love of God

I echo this invocative prayer in 2 Thessalonians 3:5...

"May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ."

I have come to realize in recent days that what I need, what my life needs, beyond all else (and I mean beyond anything else, any blessing or gift that I might crave or think essential to my happiness) is a fresh, richer-deeper-more revelation of the love of God for me and for the world.

Love is freedom. Love is grace. Love is joy. Really, freedom, grace (that is, power), joy, peace--these are all simply effects of love, of love experienced and known as a fish knows water or as our own lungs know air.

Thus, the prayer for a greater revelation. There is no fear in love (1 John); anything is possible for he who realizes how ridiculously loved he actually is. A man like that holds nothing back, and follows his heart with a radical abandon, yet always laced with laughter. His place in the universe, after all, is already secure. His own big question is answered; he is powerfully, deeply loved. He is now free to live beyond himself, to give his undivided focus to what is out there in front of him--fighting injustice, pursuing adventure, loving and healing broken hearts.

Perhaps the deeper secret to following Christ isn't to try to mimic him from a distance or try to be a better person by parroting the rules of empty religion...but is rather just to open your heart to him, invite him in--for real, not in any pretentious or religious way--and dare to let yourself be loved.

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