Dec 19 2010

Rich In Love

elk 416Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent.  In this morning’s service we lit the “love candle” for love is the focus of this particular Sunday.   It seems only fitting to focus on love the Sunday closest to Christmas.  As the Scriptures make clear, it was out of love that God sent His Son Jesus into the world at Bethlehem.

In the first epistle of John we are told that “God is love.”  Everything that God does is based on love.  That includes both His creation of the world and His preservation of it.

One of my favorite passages from the Book of Psalms says, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.  The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” (Ps. 145:8-9)  This is not just the testimony of Scripture; it is my testimony too.  Throughout my life I have been the beneficiary of God’s amazing love and compassion.  Whether you realize it or not you have too–you along with the rest of Creation.

It is good news to know that God’s love and goodness extends “to all.”  It is likewise wonderful to realize that “He has compassion on all he has made.”  This means He loves every single individual on earth.  It also means He loves every creature, every plant, every river and sea,  every hill and mountain, every desert and plain.  Yes, the God who is love and who created in love loves and cares for everything that He has made.  As the Psalmist said, He  is “rich in love.”

ghost tree 967Three times in Psalm 145 we read that God loves “all he has made.”  It’s almost like the Psalmist didn’t want us to miss this important point.  He goes out of his way to make sure we understand that God loves everything included in His Creation. 

Fittingly, Psalm 145 begins with words of praise to God.  The Psalmist declares, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.” Just as appropriately, Psalm 145 concludes with an invitation to “Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.”   The God who has revealed His love to us in the creation and preservation of the world, and in the gift of His Son, certainly deserves our praise at Christmastime and “for ever and ever.”  He also deserves our love and devotion.  Perhaps one of the best ways we can show Him our love is by loving what He loves—everyone and everything.

–Chuck

(I took the two pictures shown here on my trip to Yellowstone National Park earlier this year.)