For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The entire message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation can be summed up in these four words – “For God so loved”. God created because He loved. God saved Noah because He loved. God called Abraham, and made him the father of all who would be redeemed because He loved. God gave the promised land because He loved. He restored Israel to their homeland after their captivity because He loved. The story of God and humanity is all about love.
Too often we lose sight of the Father’s love by focusing on the difficult elements of the many stories of God’s people through time. We often think the story of God is about disobedience and punishment. Those are both a part of the saga, but they are not what the story is all about. Just as there are consequences to sin in our lives today, the many harsh punishments we see in the Bible were as such. And, punishment is actually loving if the intention is for us to learn from our disobedience. But, if we fail to see the love of God poured out over and over again in the pages of the Bible, we miss the main point.
God’s love is from before all things because His very essence is love. All that flows from Him, yes even His wrath, flows from His love. As St. John tells us, “God is light” and “God is love”, and there is no darkness in Him (1 Jn. 1:5; 4:8). And, in the ultimate act of light and love He sent His only son, Jesus Christ, into the world, that through faith, all who will believe on Him may be saved.
If God’s story is all about love, then shouldn’t ours be as well? Is yours? Believe me, I’m asking myself the same thing. Every day when we rise to look in the mirror, let us remember how much God loves us, and let that love overflow in waves of mercy to a lost and hurting world; that’s God’s plan; it always has been and it always will be, and – it’s all about love.
Grace and Peace,
Merciful, loving Father, thank you for loving me even when I am most unlovable, and for your just punishments of my sin. Help me to learn from them, and help me today to be a conduit of your love to everyone I meet. Let your waves of mercy overflow through me. Amen.