Sunday, November 22, 2015

Plumbing the Depths of God's Love

Someone recently said to me,
"You know, I believe in God, and though I've asked, I just don't know if he would forgive me for my sins or how to start back on religion."
Below was my response and is an attempt on my part to conceptualize and vocalize the depths of God's love for us:

I've ministered in both military and prison contexts, and sometimes people who are passionately telling me their story will swear or say something they think is inappropriate. But when they apologize, I always tell them, "Don't worry, both God and I have heard worse." I think that we assume that because we are the sons of apes, that we are somehow inconsequential. That we need to "clean up" and hide our failures and our weaknesses before approaching the Divine.

If there is a God (and I think there is, revealed in the Incarnate Christ), then this God knows the deepest part of every being on every planet, in every time in the cosmos. In a billion years after you turn to dust, you will still be dear to God's heart, even as another being, in a galaxy far away also wonders if there is any greater Consciousness that really cares about its life or can give it a fresh start and new purpose.

I think this God, while so utterly transcendent that it paradoxically extends even into non-existence itself, is also so utterly imminent that it vibrates along the fundamental forces of the universe, experiences the movement of every quark, and experiences the struggle, loneliness, and joy of every sentient being. When we rejoice, God rejoices with us. When we suffer and mourn, God suffers with us.

How could a God, so cosmically transcendent that universes pop into existence and recede into nothing in the blink of an eye; and yet so imminent that it marvels at the most inconsequential carbon atom in your thumbnail, do anything other than forgive you? How could the One who has seen potentially a million civilizations across ten-thousand star systems and yet witnessed your very entry into this world as a baby, be anything but utterly enthralled by you?

Of course you are forgiven! You are forgiven for a hundred thousand deeds in the past, and a hundred thousand possible deeds to come. I really think that if there is a God even worth mentioning, then this God has already fallen so deeply in love with you that It waits in anticipation for your call, like a giddy teenager waiting by the phone.

#God #love #transcendence #imminence #forgiveness

No comments: