God is Love (15)
Apr 20, 2016
God is Love (15)
1 John 4:8
Love does not delight in evil (1)
1 Corinthians 1
The wording seems strange when applied to God, but so much of our sacred literature, especially when referenced in the old testament, but unfortunately even among many modern Christian writers, almost seem to have a gloating atmosphere when discussing evil (not theirs of course) that pervades the literature. The ten plagues against the Egyptians, the drowning in the sea of the chariots and charioteers (let alone the horses), the many battles where ‘tens of thousands’ perished among the enemy (and sometimes, according to the story, not a single one died among the good guys), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and so many others within the old testament seems too often to show a God who delighted in destruction of the enemy of the chosen people.
Evil is in the eyes of the beholder. What was condemned as evil even a hundred years ago, such as a woman being able to vote, (yes, that was berated in many churches in our country at that time as being against the place of women in God’s eyes), now is considered a right and privilege and encouraged, and we are ashamed that we thought so poorly of our equal in so short a time ago. Times have surely changed (or so we say): now we argue against the degradation of women in various other societies, even while refusing to ensure equal pay between genders for the same job in our society.
Many of the self-righteous in our society rail against the equality of same-sex marriage; proclaim that it is an “abomination in the eyes of God’, siting some obscure passages in the old testament that is mixed in with many other obscure rules, such as in Leviticus 18: we read “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is an abomination”followed by verse 19: “Keep my decrees: you shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your fields with two kinds of seed; nor wear a garment with two kinds of material mixed together.” Strange how we pick and choose to show our point of view. All of these later decrees are considered not just good sense but mostly good practice today. Our sense of ‘evil’ has changed over the millennia in drastic ways, and we really have to stretch our thinking to justify our prejudices. Do you not think that homosexuality and cross-gender issues did not happen in the time of Jesus? Of course they did, and Jesus never thought to say anything at any time about it. Jesus understood that all persons, and I mean ALL persons, are creations of the Divine, and are to be loved as part of the Divine order.
So we understand now that Love does not gloat over evil (however we define it), in fact what we understand is that Love does not even see evil, but only the mistakes made by an unruly child, still growing in understanding and wisdom. Yes that ‘child’ is humanity as a whole, and it seems like we take two steps forward and 1.99 steps backwards, as we watch the gloating of hatred that is filling our country today. Once we were a nation that seemed to be full of compassion; now we are a nation filled with fear for what appears to be a loss in position and power granted us by the color of our skin and the language we were fortunate to be born into, and feel we have the right to stomp on others just because they are not exactly like us – speaking as a privileged Caucasian, just because I am a Caucasian, in our society and observing the outcries around us. It is reported that memberships in hate groups, and the number of hate groups has grown by 15% last year, such as the KKK, is rapidly growing in our country. I suspect we will be paying for these outbursts for many years to come.
God is only Love, Who Loves equally all on our little blue ball, no matter what the color of skin, hair, or anything, and no matter what our various orientations, sexual or otherwise, and no matter what a person does in this life. God is Love, only Love, and like the loving Father in the parable ‘The Prodigal Son’ sees only the wounded child in need of Love to assuage the pain, and throws the silken garment around our shoulders and lovingly embraces us tenderly. All of us, everywhere.
The Lord is my light and my salvation-
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the Stronghold of my life-
Of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27: 1
My Lover, You have comforted me all my life. Even when I have been in my greatest pain, and seemingly turned my back on You, You continued to hold me tenderly, crooning your Love song in my ear, treating me tenderly, washing my wounds and soothing my pain away, as only the Supreme Physician can do. I can let my self totally relax in You, as You truly Love me just as I am. You see my perfection, even as I can only see my mistakes I make against others. You carry me when I am weak, caressing me gently, wooing me to sleep without fear, giving me warmth when I am cold, loving me gently when my fears are burning me up. You are the shining light guiding me, even when I am blinded by my ego and cannot see anything beyond my own shadow. You throw Your Light on my shadow, and the shadow dims and becomes the Light, reflecting Your radiance in all that occurs.
I bow in gratitude for Your Presence in all I do, Your constant guiding light that prods and pokes at me until I find Your path that lies before me. I thank You for Your constant guidance that I can see looking backwards on my life, an trust in Your Love for me for all of my days in the future.
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