Sunday, March 18, 2012
The Father's Incredible Gift
God so loved the world... John3:16. It is a verse with which we have become so familiar~perhaps even too familiar. As I heard this well~known verse in the context of today's Gospel reading, it seemed to stop me in my tracks. God, our Heavenly Father so loved the world that He gave this very broken world His only Son. In giving Jesus to this world, the Father gave us the ultimate gift. He gave us Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.
St Leo the Great tells us that the will of the Father and the will of the Son were one. So Jesus wished and willed to give Himself to us as much as His Father did.
I usually think and meditate on this verse from the view of Jesus coming to us, and that is a good way to think about it, but today I seemed to be drawn into seeing this gift of the Father and His Son from the view of the Father. Go back to the verse: God so loved the world... You and I are part of that world, so God, our Father loves you and me and everyone in it in a very personal way. When seen that way, we can see not only the sacrifice of Jesus, but in a sense, we also can see the sacrifice of the Father.
One of the greatest lessons we learn from Jesus is that true love is sacrificial; this lesson began with the Father who loved the world and everyone in it~so much so, He gave us Jesus.
In accepting the Father's love for me, I accept Jesus' love; the two are inseparable. As Scripture tells us: "No one has seen the Father except the Son." (John 1:18) and Jesus' reply to Phillip when he makes the request of Jesus to "Show us the Father" is that whoever sees Me, sees the Father." (see John 14:8)
The five little words that begin that Gospel verse are powerful ones when we stop to really let their weight sink into our hearts and souls. When we allow that to happen, we allow the love of the Father and the Son, through the Holy Spirit to sink in as well.
Jesus~the Father's most incredible gift to us.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.