Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday after Ash Wednesday: God Never Gives Up Loving Us

“Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom … Choose life!” - Deut 30:15

We often confuse unconditional love with unconditional approval. God loves us without conditions but does not approve of every human behavior. God doesn’t approve of betrayal, abuse, violence, hatred, suspicion, and all other expressions of evil, because they all contradict the love God instill in the human heart. Evil is the absence of God’s love. Evil does not belong to God.

God’s unconditional love means that God continues to love us even when we say or think evil things. The injunction to “choose life” is not a condition of God’s love for us. Rather, it describes the path to happiness and fulfillment. God continues to wait for us as a loving parent waits for the return of a lost child. Whereas our sins may keep us from God; but they can never keep God from us.

Not only does God never gives up loving us, but God chooses to create us anew every moment with each breath we take and each beating of our own hearts which continue to give life. God chooses us as we are, regardless of our response. The challenge to “choose life” is grounded in the truth that God has already chosen us, over and over again .. persistently ... patiently ...

“O God, when we are most tempted to give up on ourselves, help us to remember that you never give up on us.”

adapted from Henri Nouwen

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