Saturday, December 24, 2011
What Will Separate Us From Love?
Last night at our service for Comfort and Healing, I was assigned to read the passage from Romans 8 which I believe is one of the most powerful statements Paul makes in his letters:
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As I read this passage aloud, I felt as though my voice was being carried from my toes up through my mouth and filling the entire space with words that put in a sentence the beauty of our celebration tonight.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, separates us from the Love that will come down to us as a baby in the manger. The Love that is wrapped in swaddling clothes may be tiny tonight, but this child is the beginning of a new ethic and a new way of living with each other that is stronger than anything Wall Street brokers, or Republican Presidential candidates can throw at us. Because this Love knows no boundaries and will topple tyranny and burst open any prison which tries to hold it back. That was definitely the feeling I had running through my body as I read those words.
O come let us adore him. Let us not just adore, but truly welcome this Love into our lives.
Today, my buddy King, the Jehovah's Witness, was back on my doorstep (of course, it's Christmas Eve so why wouldn't he be?!) King wanted to know if I believed that there would be peace on Earth (obviously trying to tap into my celebration of the season).
"Well, I sure hope so! That's what I am hoping for."
"That won't happen through man."
"No, I don't think man alone will make that happen. But with God's help, I think we can do it... if we commit ourselves to living in that way to bring about peace."
King wasn't convinced by my argument, and when he started telling me about the 144-thousand who will reign as basically a sub-level of the heavenly kingdom, I had lost interest in him, too.
But I do believe that we have a role to play in bringing about a kingdom on Earth that more closely resembles the kingdom in Heaven. It requires us to tap into those lessons that Christ, the child, will be teaching in the coming weeks. The cornerstone of that teaching is Love: love each other, love ourselves, and in so doing, we are loving God. When we treat each other and ourselves with dignity we are exhibiting the kind of love God claims for God's self. This is how I believe we all end up in God's camp... whether we are believers who offer praise to God or not. God wins. Again.
What separates us from this Love? Nobody. Nothing. It is persistent and patient beyond measure.
O come let us adore him!