Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"The Way of Peace"

         Amid the myriad complexities of life and existence, at the end of the day, it actually involves only three things.

    "He first loved us" (I John 4:19).
    "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment" (Matthew 22:37-38).
     "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:39).

    To be loved by God, and to know it.  To respond in trusting and devoted love to Him.  And to love others as the direct expression and reflection of being loved by the Lord, and of loving Him  - such is the heart of the matter, and the matter of the heart.  Everything else in our existence revolves around this triune reality, as ordained and revealed to us by the triune God.  The Apostle Paul's treatise of love in 1 Corinthians 13 says as much, declaring everything to be nothing if not received, known, and assimilated in the love of God.

    To some this might seem an oversimplification.  The trusting heart, however, knows that remembrance, affirmation, and application of love's truth cuts through the complications of life by first setting our own hearts at rest, and then raising us up in the power of Christ to more than conquer whatever challenges we may face (Romans 8:37).  Indeed, perhaps we face a particular difficulty at the moment, one that seems bewilderingly possessed of innumerable tangled threads far beyond our ability to unravel.  They well may be.  A world complicated by sin, darkness, and human weakness frequently does that to us.  "When the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! How shall we do?!" (I Kings 6:15).

    What if, however, the roiled and troubled waters of our circumstance actually offer to us a way of peace, or actually, the way of peace?  They do, of course.  They offer to us to the love of God, again, first to be known and received by us, then, returned back to Him in trusting submission, and finally completed as we recognize our opportunity to love others who venture upon the same stormy seas upon which we make our challenging way.  Yes, at the end of the day, this is what our lives are really all about.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  Nothing else.

     "Heavenly Father, we thank You that Your love for us exists and awaits to be known by us in all things.  We thank You also that You give us opportunity in all things to respond to You in love, and then to expect pathways of love to be paved for us whereupon we venture together with You to love others.  We don't expect that all of the outward complications of life will instantly dissolve upon this determination of faith.  But we do trust that our hearts will be set at peace as we fulfill this, the primary reason of our existence.  We thank You, Father, in the name of He who made the presence of Your love possible in our hearts, the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen."

"And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God."
(II Thessalonians 3:5)

No comments: