I have been reflecting on God ‘s love for us in Christ and am drawn steadily back to 1 John 4:10. “This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” These reflections on the Gospel truly show us the good news of Jesus’ kingdom. To be governed, constrained, compelled by this great love is much greater than the self-loathing so easily generated by our efforts at being loveable.
I was delighted today to read in James Bryan Smith’s book, Embracing the Love of God” how God had moved him from self-loathing and earnest promises to “do better” to rest in the love of God shown us in Christ. Smith quotes Soren Kierkegard’s prayer:
You have loved us first, O God, alas! We speak of it in terms of history as if You loved us first but a single time, rather than that without ceasing. You have loved us first many times and everyday and our whole life through. When we wake up in the morning and turn our soul toward You–You are there first–You have loved us first; if I rise at dawn and at that same second turn my soul toward You in prayer, You are there ahead of me, You have loved me first. When I withdraw from the distractions of the day and turn my soul toward You, You are there first and thus forever. And we speak ungratefully as if You have loved us first only once.
May this truth of Jesus become our on-going reality and experience.