Glencairn Methodist Church
The outrageous love of God
Can you remember the first time you fell in love with the boy or girl of your dreams? Your eyes may have met across crowded dance floor, and you would have felt a bit giddy with butterflies in your stomach. As you danced together it would have been like floating on air and when you kissed goodnight on the doorstep a girl would have gone to bed dreaming of good things to come and the young man would have skipped all the way home. The days and hours until your next meeting would have dragged and there would have been mounting excitement until Saturday night. [Note to young people: a long time ago when your grandparents were young - and yes there was such a time - we did not have motor cars or mobile phones or Facebook!]
Well, this is all a bit "Mills and Boon" and may not be everyone's experience. But there is a collection of love poems in the Bible - the Song of Songs or the Song of Solomon - which reflects these feelings of love between a man and a woman very well. While some of these may be a bit graphic and racy and offend the Puritan sensibilities of some people, they do speak of the longing of a young couple in love for the times they can be together. Read these verses from chapter 2 (one of the lessons for Trinity 12, 30 August):
8 Listen! My
Is it too much to suggest that the love of God for you and me is as intense as this? Look at some of the teaching of Jesus. In the story of the Lost Son in Luke 15:11-32, the outrageous love of the boy's father gives us a picture of the outrageous love of God. The father should not have been like this, shielding his wayward son from the condemnation of hard hearted people, including his big brother, who just could not understand how his father could forgive the reprobate and make such a fuss of him. Look at how Jesus dealt with the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53 - 8:11). The "righteous" wanted to stone her to death, that's what the Law of Moses required( Leviticus 20:10). What did Jesus do? First he invited those who were without sin to throw the first stone. When no one did and they had all left, he asked the woman "Has no one condemned you?". When she replied "No-one, sir," Jesus said "Then neither do I. Go now and leave your life of sin."
God the Son died on the
cross for us. If that is not the ultimate expression of outrageous love then I
do not know what is. Jesus is the Bridegroom and each of us is his Bride. He
leaps across the mountains, bounds over the hills to say to each one of us,
"Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me."
10 September 2009
NOTE - Previous "Monthly Messages" are archived at http://glencairn.connor.anglican.org/previousmessages.htm