When I think about the way God loves us I am often amazed and the worldly part of me thinks God must be crazy to love me. We can all be so ungrateful and undeserving of God’s love and providence but He still offers it.
Some of the parables speak of the “crazy” side of God’s love, There is the parable of the woman who lost a small coin and, after finding it threw a party that cost many times the value of the coin she found. (Luke 15:8-10) Crazy huh? Well Jesus is teaching about God’s Kingdom love for us, it is extravagent, beyond all reasonable bounds. Then there’s the parable of the Man with two sons (Luke 15:11-32). One of his sons tells him to drop dead and wants his inheritance now. He gives it to him! Off the son goes and messes up big time. He sinks so low he starts to admire how well pigs eat. Upon his return to the father he told to drop dead, he expects wrath but he gets embraced and the Father throws a party. Crazy huh? But the story does not end there. The second son, offended at the party, now cops an attitude and insults his father by refusing to enter the party. Instead of sending servants out to force him in, the father himself goes out and pleads with his son who continues to dishonor him with bitter rebukes as to his leadership! What a crazy Father! He seems to love his son anyway. What father in the ancient world would ever plead with his son, it just wasn’t done. But Jesus is teaching again of his Father’s “crazy” love for us.
And Jesus is crazy too. He actually chooses to die for us, not because we are good but because we are bad. We, having run his wrists and feet through with railroad spikes hear his prayers of mercy for us. And who would have excused him if, after dying, he just went right back to heaven and said, “Father, I ‘ve had it with them I’m coming home!” But instead he rose and said “Peace be with you” to men who had abandoned him. Crazy. Just crazy.
It is clear that God loves us no matter what. “Ah” but you might say, “what about the souls in Hell?!” I say to you he loves them still! They do not want to live in the Kingdom with him and he respects their freedom in that regard. But have you noticed, he doesn’t wipe them out or anihilate them? They still exist, in an unpleasant place of their choice, but God still sustains and provides for them. Even Satan is not killed by God. Crazy!
So face it, God loves you. He even likes you! Not becauseyou deserve it, you don’t. Neither do I. God loves you and me “for no good reason.” He loves because he is love and that’s what love does. To think that we could lose God’s love is actually a sign of pride since we think that somehow we have the power to make God stop being what he is, Love. I know full well that God does not love my sin but I do not doubt that he loves me…for no good reason, for no explainable reason other than he is Love and that’s what love does, it loves.
Now I hope You’ll find this video as much of a blessing as I do. I suppose that the closest example of unconditional love we have on this planet is a mother’s love for her children. Behold and be blessed: Shirley Ceasar’s “No Charge.”
One Reply to “The Full Cost of Real Love is No Charge”
An important reflection. In Jesus and many others, this love is embodied. Mother Teresa comes to mind. Their love and service was not based on any requirements: being religious, agreeing with the doctrines of the Church, being pro-life, having gone to confession in the past year, etc. Nothing wrong with any of these things, of course, but I have observed in fellow Catholics a notion that God’s love for them is based on how good or noble they behave. It’s the notion of love you see in the second son. And it makes sense for people who want God to be a judge to validate their ego and performance in life. Perhaps most sadly, this image of God, this notion of love, becomes how they love other people, their family, their parents, their children, their church, their God. Is that love? Is that working? Who would think that a God of love would be something people don’t like, or don’t want? It’s crazy indeed.
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