God’s love is bigger, wider, higher, and deeper than we can fathom. He wants to flood our lives with this love. It is on display all around us in creation and supremely in the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And yet so often, we are numb, indifferent, and absent from this love, though it is never absent from us.
Sunday night Chris+ preached a poignant sermon centered around the idea that grace and effort are not opposed. Just as Paul told Timothy to engage in the work of serving God’s church as a soldier, an athlete, and a farmer all of which involve great effort. So too we are to engage in our Christian life of following Jesus, of being continually filled with the Holy Spirit, of being holy as God our Father is holy with great effort. Grace and effort are not opposed.
But grace and earning are opposed. We cannot earn more of God’s grace and love. He already loves us infinitely. St. Augustine said that God loves each one of us as if we were the only ones. He loves each of us that greatly.
How do we put ourselves in a position to allow God’s ever-present and all-consuming love to fill us? Well, that’s really central to our mission at All Saints. “Live in God’s presence; live out HIs love.” How does this happen?
Prayer and worship. We do this at Sunday worship. We do this at Pastorates throughout the week. And hopefully, in your own lives, you have a space where you can be still before God and receive His immense love.
His Holy Spirit, the fire of God that sheds His love abroad in our hearts is God’s very self living in us. This week, stop, look, and listen. Drink in the beauty of creation all around you. Contemplate the beauty and suffering, the agony and power of the cross. Actively receive God’s love, and live it out. And expect the world around you to change.