Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"This Love"

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ! By his great mercy, he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…..” (I Peter 1: 3)

We walk now in the time between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Day of Pentecost. Fifty days to absorb the reality and the miracle of resurrection. Fifty days to adjust to being born new again in Christ. Fifty days until the power to live as a new being in Christ Jesus is poured out upon us again -- for this day and this time. We are born into a living hope because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. And all of this is because God loves us and believes in us and won’t give up on the human race; it seems, no matter what we do.


Not that we are free from the consequences of our bad choices and willful refusal to do what we know is right. Rather, we are loved by a God whose love and grace are previenent – waiting for us to receive them so that we can give these same gifts to others.

What is this kind of love that God revealed to us in Christ Jesus? What does it look like?


I believe it looks like the kind of love described at a conference I attended recently, which I share as I remember it here:

At the end of Apartheid in South Africa, new President Nelson Mandela called for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to begin a process of healing and reconciliation for the people of South Africa. One black South African woman who had seen her husband and son murdered in front of her was asked what would it take for her to be reconciled with the white man who perpetrated the crime. In the presence of the man who had done these things, after some time deep in silent thought, she named three things. Facing her adversary, she asked that he become her son. She asked that he would come to visit her each month in her home where the black Africans lived. And she asked that he be the recipient of all the love she still had in her heart for her husband and her son. It was reported that the perpetrator passed out in response to this request. Fainted dead away.

The presenter of the story and many of us in the audience were completely amazed at the depth of the love expressed by this woman. And in our awe, some of us even admitted that as hard as we’re working to do so, we just aren’t quite there yet.


God’s love is even deeper than this. So I invite us during this Easter Season to risk receiving and giving this love. This love that comes up against our worst nightmares and moves through it to the other side--born into hope and new life. If we live long enough, we will know loss and pain. Some will even know trauma and devastation. Christ’s resurrection reveals to us that even death is not the end.

Volcanoes erupting, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes, flood, fire, global warming and war -- the human condition with its greed and resulting injustice and poverty make the concept of love seem impotent and childish. But I have become convinced again that love is the greatest power we have. Not a Pollyannaish denial of reality, but a bold oneness with it. Let us reclaim the power of this love that creates new life out of death so that the world might live.

“Although you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (I Peter 1: 8-9)

--In Christ, Bishop Linda Lee, WI AC

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer
United Methodsit Communications

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