Ferocious Love: The Point of it All
By Cynthia Nebo
Now we're coming closer still to the business end of our 2018 Lenten season; this Sunday Gospel does well to remind us of the point of it all:
'As Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but so that through him the world might be saved. No one who believes in him will be judged; but whoever does not believe is judged already, because that person does not believe in the Name of God's only Son. And the judgement is this: though the light has come into the world people have preferred darkness to the light because their deeds were evil. And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, to prevent his actions from being shown up; but whoever does the truth comes out into the light, so that what he is doing may plainly appear as done in God.'
As we've wandered thus far through our own personal deserts, and perhaps many of us lost sight of why we're here and what were doing, these words of Jesus bring us back to the focus of Lent; to the focus of his incarnation and journey as a human; to the sole purpose of our existence and the whole point of salvation history:
...that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life.
Jesus reminds us in this Gospel of why he is here; because God has sent him; that through his suffering and the receipt of the dire judgement that was reserved for us sinners, he would take on that judgement and we would be saved.
This is the Ultimate love story!
The hero that stands up and volunteers himself to save the one he loves: and each one of us is the One He loves! He is calling us to respond to God's original call of Love for the world, for each of us.
And the response he longs for?
For us to believe. Not only to believe him, what he says, the miracles he performs; but to believe IN him, in who he is and who he wants to be for us, and to accept the act of love he is always ready to give for us; his own life.
And thus I say it's a love story; but please do not be mistaken; this is not your conventional Hollywood 5 star box-office love story! The love that Jesus is eluding to is not this hippy dippy all in your feelings type of Love! Not all the time anyway, although that may often be part of it.
The true, raw love that he gives us is Ferocious. Is fierce. Is brutal. Is the cross. The aggression and ruthlessness depicted on the cross is the kind of Love Jesus has for us. A love that will stop at nothing to Love us.
And so, it is important to remember, just as a very inciteful song from some really cool artists remind us; God's judgement comes for us; and his judgement is Love.
Do we accept the love that is for us; and be saved? Or do we reject him, and choose darkness and our original dire judgment from which he wishes to save us?
As we move forward towards the approaching pinnacle of our faithful journey, let us open our hearts and step towards the light as he comes to meet us, and turn away from the darkness that is blocking us from manifesting God's works in our lives.