Thursday, January 3, 2008

How Great the Father's Love For Us

For the last several months I have spent a good deal of time meditating on what it means that our God is triune – three in one yet one in three. It is a mystery that I have spent most of my life simply accepting, avoiding the conversation of how such a thing could be. But now, I find myself drawn to wonder not how can it be, but what does it mean. What does it mean that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in this dance of community? Each person of the Trinity performs their task bringing glory to the others, creating and sustaining the universe, reconciling and redeeming creation. I cannot even fathom the love and honor that exists between them. I cannot understand the perfect harmony and unity from which flowed all of creation and the plan for the redemption of all that they created.

And then we came to Advent and Christmas. I was awestruck by the idea of the Trinity, this perfect union that has always existed, being willing to split itself apart: One third pulling itself away and becoming human. The Son came and bore our human frailties, took our sin and our pain, our brokenness and even our death upon himself. But even more than that, He was willing to be severed completely from His unity with the Father and the Spirit by our sin. We are often amazed by the love of the Son for us, but what about the love of the Father?

In my meditation I came across John 17: 20-23. This is Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer.” Most of us are familiar with this because this is where he prays for us. I have read it many times before but this time something caught my eye I had never noticed before. “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (italics mine) Can you imagine: The Father loves us as much as the Father loves the Son!!! Is it any wonder that the Father sent a portion of Himself to this broken world to bring us this message? Is it any wonder that the Son let himself become sin and die so that we could be reconciled to our Father who loves us so much!

As this reality has begun to slowly dawn in my heart, I have had but one response to fall on my face and worship. I am unworthy of such love, but God has made me worthy. I have rejected and trampled on His love time and again, but He returns and woos me back and will not let me go. He gave all to make me and you His treasure, the apple of His eye. You see, to God we are the pearl of great price that He gave all in order to possess. All I can say is, “Thank You” and, “I love you too, help me love you more.” This is the essence of worship.

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