(This is the first of a three part reflection on what it means to be loved by God.)
Being third is all about getting your priorities in line with the Gospel: to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength; and to love your neighbor as yourself (see above). Jesus flips around the “thou shalt nots” of the ten commandments to a pair of affirmative statements which center on our duty to love.
We aren’t, however, being asked to love God and to love others on our own; this invitation comes because He has loved us first. At the last supper, Jesus encouraged His apostles saying: “as the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love” (John 15:29). Spend time in 1 Corinthians 13 or 1 John 4 and you get descriptions of what that the Father’s love is like, and all of these ought to lead us to one inescapable conclusion: that we are loved by God.
The trouble for many of us is that the phrases God is love or God loves you have been repeated so often, they’ve lost a little of their meaning. We might equate them with the fairy tale ending and they lived happily ever after… it makes a nice story, but doesn’t happen in real life.
This is why I want you to take a closer look at what is meant when we read or hear about God’s love, so we can discover or re-discover this fundamental truth of our faith: that you and I are each uniquely and wholly loved by God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let’s begin by taking a look at what it means to be loved by God the Father. [Read more…] about (Be)Loved by the Father