The Love of God
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning." (From Lamentations 3:23)
This is part of the Jewish Scripture that was written around 600 BC. As you thought of your waking up this morning and going to work, you might well ask: "What does that have to do with me? What does that have to do with my need to feed and clothe myself, finance a roof over my head, and deal with the problems I have at work?"
"What does this old scripture have to do with the world that seems to be going off the rails? Why should I be concerned with an ancient scripture talking about their God and his love?"
These words actually are important to you even though they seem irrelevant. To see that God really does have this everlasting love for you and me, we need to look back at history. A poor couple had a baby 20 centuries ago. His birth is recorded in the census of that time by the Romans, who ruled over the nation where the boy was born. As he grew into a man, it was obvious he was unlike all the other men around him.
For example, He would heal people. He had a reputation for this, and they came to him specifically to be healed. He could command natural forces. Once he stilled a storm that was about to swamp the boat he and his friends were in. He even brought people back from being dead. He did this before a few people, and before crowds.
Christ and the Woman of Samaria, by Benedetto Luti, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Did this man ever even live?!
If you're thinking these things about the man known as Jesus of Nazareth are surely fables, then we only have to look at the records of the time. What he said and did were recorded by eye-witnesses and circulated among the reading public only 40 years after he died. If these records had been inaccurate, all people had to do was to say that nothing like that really happened. But they didn't. They knew they were true. In fact, the reigning Roman government agreed and confirmed that he did the miracles that had been observed and written down.
Probably the most marvelous thing Jesus did was to show love towards others. He befriended lepers, the lowest of the low in that society, touching and healing them. He stood up for prostitutes who were about to be stoned to death. He encouraged the outcasts, physically handicapped, women, children, and foreigners to come and spend time with him. He went out of his way to show love to all of them. He said what they needed was to get close to him, so they would know the love and peace in their lives that he showed in his life.
Jesus said he was God's son, and that his father had sent him to show us what his father was like. God his father was powerful like Jesus, but just as important, he was loving like Jesus.
Throughout his life Jesus continued to love people around him. His final act would be loving his enemies and forgiving them as they put him to death – and doing so without bitterness. Then he rose from the dead, as he had said he would – a fact that has been examined and re-examined more than any other event of history, and still comes up shining as true.
He asks us to follow him and to quit trying to organize this great universe so it will bow to our wills. It means relying on him who keeps the planets and stars from running into each other. It means trusting God, the father of Jesus. He loves you, even when you are the least lovable. You and I are to get to know the one who loves us and rest in that love as we live out our lives.