Thursday, June 14, 2012

God's Furious Love

I just finished Brennan Manning's The Furious Longing of God. I have always enjoyed reading Manning. He showed me that I am a Ragamuffin. That was a great help to me. It's amazing how that kind of insight can help to do away with pretensions.
This book had as its underlying theme a verse from Song of Songs. It reads, "I belong to my Beloved's. His desire is for me" (7:10). As I reflected on this I was taken back a few months to when I really began to realize Yahweh's relentless pursuit of me. Yet, it has been so easy for me to slip into the notion that God is enthroned in a heaven that I cannot reach. God is attentive to my prayer, but somewhat aloof. We pray for God's grace and wisdom. We pray for God to win our battles. We pray that others will see things clearly, (code for 'My Way'). But, the Lover of our souls desires us. The Creator/Yahweh has walked among us because of that desire. Jesus, the one and only Son loved enough to change water to wine and to heal lepers. He, the true Image of God, went willingly to the cross because of Yahweh's great passion for us. 
Yet, we debate about subjective genitives and whether Adam and Eve were actual people. We take the life, death, resurrection and ascension and call it 'the Christ event.' People debate about justification and sola scriptura, making these what the good news is about. We have to think and believe certain ways or else we are sliding down some slippery slope. (I don't know about you, but sled riding is Fun!)
And, all the while God is still relentlessly pursuing us. The more I consider this love of God, the more I am being convinced that this other stuff doesn't really matter. Frankly, it does not matter to me if the creation story is a factual news story or if it is Israel's story written as a result of the captivity. God loves me. I am not going to get into discussions with people who think that they understand any of the so-called laws of thermodynamics. It simply is not important when one considers that "love is the fulfillment of the law" (Rom. 13:10b). John the Elder wrote that God is love. We are under compulsion to follow Jesus' command to love one another as He has loved us. We are the recipients of Yahweh's unrestrained and furious love. The rest is just fluff.

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