The Measure of God’s Love

Read: St. John 15:1-9

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.”    John 15:9

There is nothing that our human hearts crave more deeply than the comfort of understanding love. The child finds its assurance in the love of its mother. The mother finds her joy in the love of her children. The husband finds inspiration in the love of his wife, and the wife finds security in the love of her husband. All of us hunger and thirst for the deep and abiding satisfaction of knowing that we are loved.

How comforting, then, to know that we are loved by the Son of God Himself. “As my Father has loved me, so have I loved you,” He assures us, “As my Father has loved me.” What a thought! The Father had loved His Son with a love beyond expression, a love that transcended human thought and speech. Now Jesus says, “So I have loved you!”

In an age which places so much emphasis on the development of self-esteem, self-worth, self-sufficiency, and self-reliance, we are in danger of applying these human attributes also to our personal relationship to God, as though, for some reason, we could stand in His presence on the basis of our own accomplishments.

Although not saying it in so many words, we often live our lives as though we were “the captain of our souls and the masters of our destinies.” With such an attitude, we will never appreciate the full measure of God’s love for us. With St. Paul we must learn to say out of the anguish of our heart, “O wretched man that I am!” Or with the poet we must learn to say, “False and full of sin I am.”

Only then will we begin to appreciate the “immeasurable measure” of God’s love for us in Christ. Only then will we be able to repeat the fervent prayer:

Thy love to me, O God, Not mine, O Lord, to Thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest and set my spirit free.
I trust Thy Son, O Lord; I rest on love divine,
And with unfaltering lip and heart I call this Savior mine.

 How has prayer helped you? How does your personal prayer time and communal prayer time in worship inform and feed you? Look for more stories of prayer in next week’s Monday Meditation.