Advent 1 God So Loved the World: The Ache
One of the most quoted verses in the Bible starts “God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son”. It’s a description of Christmas but it also tells you the motive behind the Christmas story. Love is the reason Christmas happened. This makes Christmas a love story, but it is also an intense, passionate, love story. The verse says God SO loved. It could read God loved the world so much and it could also say God loved the world so much for so long and so intensely. All these flavours are in the words.
The Bible is full of references to God’s love for you, using every kind of imagery to describe the indescribable. In fact, we are told that God is love.In this Advent series I am focusing on the intense romance of God’s so loving you in the hope that it will open your eyes as well as soften your heart. So, my first focus is on the ache that God feels for you.If you have known the ache for the beloved in your heart you will know its pleasure and its pain. The Song of Songs is a book which describes human romantic love as well as God’s love for you. Sometimes we think we can use human love to illustrate God’s love but in fact it is the other way around. God’s love is the reality and human love, in all forms, is the reflection. So, when you read “How beautiful you are my Darling! Oh how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.” you are reading a description of God’s aching love for you. (Song of Songs 1:15)Go forwards to the prophet Zephaniah who relays the words of God to his people, “He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing”.
Here is a beautiful description of God’s love bringing quiet to a restless, screaming soul. Replacing the noise with the sound of his singing-voice, God reveals himself as delighting in you.
Sometime in your life you will know what it is to delight in someone like this. Perhaps it will quiet you this week to know that God so loves you like this, even to the point of aching with love for you.
Work well today,
© Geoff Shattock December 2019
Song of Songs 1:15
15 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.
17 The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
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