Friday, November 21, 2008

Just in case those frozen signs held up in the bleachers that say JOHN 3:16 at Football games has caused us to numb over with a cliché white-noise when we read these words; let me try to remind us about just how incredible these words are that Jesus said long before before bumper stickers; t-shirts; and wristbands. Words that reveal realities behind them that are FAR FAR larger; more shocking; nearly unbelievable; and amazing…words that tell us about God…ourselves…and where we intertwine!

This is how much God [how much what…what quantity is about to be talked about? How much stuff God has at his disposal…how many pickles, or how many stars or electrons?] loved [ok this is the subject…love…and a lot of it…mountains, valleys, galaxies of limitless love is at his command and he about to do something with that massive amount of limitless and eternal love….what will it be? Where will that loved be aimed…who will be worthy of it?] the world: [the world…you’ve got to be kidding…why the world…why those who have rebelled against him, those that ignore him, those that cause human trafficking…pornography…wars…kidnappings…pedophiles…liars…thieves why in the world would he leverage all of his love towards the one place in the universe of eternity that is so most obviously in opposition and at war with him?] He gave his Son, his one and only Son. [whoa…what kind of a Father would send his son into this mess? What kind of a Father would put his child at risk in the hands of his enemies? What kind of a Father would ask his son to go to certain death? And what kind of a son would choose to go?] And this is why: [ Yes please, tell me why?...what could possibly be worth this? Why in the name of reason would God send his only son into the ghetto of his creation; the trailer-park torn apart by twisters, the hood being held hostage by gangs of the godless?] so that no one need be destroyed; [ oh so that is what he is trying to stop. Our self destruction. The justice we deserve for all those secret and not so secret things. He is trying to rescue us from the insanity of our self-destructive nature-nurture-and civilization. But how…how will this happen?] by believing in him,[is it really that simple? That profound? It’s like doing a u-turn in the garden of Eden where humanity made the choice to not trust God and started trusting demons and themselves. All he is asking is for us to reach out and re-engage again with him. To let him be what he has always been…EVERYTHING. He just wants to be the trust of our hearts; our minds; our money; our everything. But who is this available to? The Jews, good people, moral people, who gets to win this lottery ticket of eternity?] Anyone [are you serious? Anybody…everybody? Me. You! This is too much. The love of God…placed in his ONLY son…killed by us …somehow made alive again…given to us freely…asking us to re-enter into the way it always should have been…available to anybody no matter who they are or what they have done. And if we do this what will happen? If we accept this love is there a catch?] can have a whole and everlasting life. [Are you serious! Not only will the quality of my life here be dramatically better and full of Gods presence…but…the quantity of life will last forever! God wants to be with me forever! Limitless time stretching into a mind numbing forever! Never bored by me, always intimate with me. Wow! Those signs at the ballgames don’t seem big enough now.

Slow down and read this again till the whiplash of the ideas has slapped you fully awake again with the shocking avalanche of undeserved love that is offered to you. The staggering bigness of God, the huge limitless oceans of his love, focused on one small planet…one small group of creatures…one small person nearly microscopic…you! And his love and desire for you is given a razor sharp focus and will cost him watching his own son suffer and die in order to bring you back into right relationship with him. All of eternity; all of his emotions; all of his thoughts; all of his being crashing into you through his son dying on a cross to take the penalty of our rebellion against him. No love story; film; novel; or song. No painting; poem; or even imagination could ever create a greater story of love. It is so colossal it is almost impossible to even bring it into our hearts and minds to comprehend it. He made you; created you; he knows all the hairs on your head. And he wants you so deeply; his longing is so overwhelming; his ache at unrequited love is so massive; that he will sacrifice his most precious Son for you.

For you! [Romeo and Juliette; Twilight; Pride and Prejudice; all of these stories and more are a joke compared with this]

Stare up at the clouds today. Look through the stained glass windows. Lift your voice in the songs we sing. And listen for God in between the words the preacher says. And if you search you will find that He is signing back, shining through the sun, dancing invisibly all around you, and screaming and shouting through His SON “I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, ILOVE YOU!”

For God so loved ________________[your name goes here]______________ that he…


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this fresh perspective-- I needed it!


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