Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Greater Love Has No Man

This is the love of my life, my true Valentine. There is no one who loves me more fully, completely or passionately.

Here's what He did as recorded in ancient scripture:

"Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:6-11)

He gave up who He was to commune with man. (Still completely and fully God, he took on the nature of man when He "made himself nothing...") The Divine, a fully dimensional being living outside time and space, limited Himself via time, space, flesh, blood and three dimensions, all for the sake of revealing love to us. Love being the motivator, and knowing we could not reverse the process to go to Him, He came to us. Nothing but love would give up so much... "even death on a cross!"

A human infant is utterly helpless, with its survival depending upon the good will of those around them. Jesus came into the world, making Himself helpless. He experienced formation in the womb, birth, growth, learning, pain. All for us.

We must see everything in our lives with the backdrop of the incarnation, the cross and the resurrection.

The incarnation changed the world.
We were important enough to God for the Divine to become human. And we are still. We are the apple of His eye (Deuteronomy 32 and Zechariah 2); His thoughts toward us are more plentiful than all the grains of sand (Psalm 139).

The cross revealed great love. "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) Whatever happens, however painful, we must see it in the light of the cross and know that "greater love has no man" for us. St. Catherine of Siena said, "Everything comes from love; all is ordained for the salvation of man. God does nothing without this goal in mind." Sometimes God's "severe mercy" (CS Lewis) is what preserves us in love. We place ourselves in His hands and even "what Satan intends for evil" (Genesis 40) becomes the course of His love for us.

And finally, resurrection. Resurrection is the conversion of heart after the struggle. Resurrection is transformation. Resurrection is the promise, the hope, the rainbow in the clouds after the flood. Resurrection is real, both now in our earthly lives and forever in eternity. Christ equals the resurrection. He bought it for us, He lives it in us, He gives it to us.

Truly there is no love greater than this.

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