Saturday, March 10
Scripture: John 3:14-21
What wondrous love is this oh my soul, oh my soul… Have you ever pondered while singing this familiar Lenten song, how one describes God’s love? Do the overused and insufficient words of “super,” “great,” “wonderful,” and “amazing” ring a bit too hollow to describe God’s everlasting love for creation, including you and me(!)?
Suppose a daughter were to ask her parent to describe God’s love so simply she could understand it through a child’s perspective. Maybe the simplest answer would be: “God’s love is a gift that you didn’t ask for, expect, or deserve, just to enjoy.” We all understand the joy of receiving a gift at Christmas or birthdays. But the unmeasurable and indescribable joy this gift bestows to us is our one, Holy God incarnate, Jesus, who came to show once and for all, love in perfection – love forever!
Jesus didn’t come with a switch and paddle to blame, punish, and persecute us; Jesus came offering love, forgiveness, and redemption through God’s eternal grace. Oh yes, we might have to walk our own Via Dolorosa, but we walk that pathway with the risen Christ as our guide.
Prayer: Everlasting, loving God, we remember your gift of Jesus this Lenten week and meditate upon the penned words of our 19th-century Disciples forebear, Barton W. Stone:
Behold the love, the grace of God,
displayed in Jesus’ precious blood;
my soul’s on fire, it yearns to prove
the fullness of redeeming love.
The cross I view – O wondrous love!
My sins expire, my fears remove;
my native enmity is slain.
I’m reconciled – I’m born again.
Our God is love – O leap my soul!
Let warm hosannas roll!
Love gave a Son to save our race,
and Jesus died through sov’reign grace!
What love has done, sing earth around!
Angels prolong the eternal sound!
Lo, Jesus bleeding on the tree!
There, there, the love of God I see.
– Steven Baines