Love, Repentance, and Transformation – Reflection for 8 DEC 2019
The love of God is a terrifying thought. What if God knew about the parts of me that I keep hidden from everyone, sometimes even myself? Would He still love me? Perhaps once I get everything about me fixed, I can stand in the love of God. Perhaps if I can do the things that make people like me, I can pretend that I am actually lovable. Maybe I can continue to hide, deny, or justify the things about me that I know deep down are broken. Maybe if I continually point out the faults of others, I won’t feel as bad about myself. Then, I will at least feel lovable by comparison.
Do you ever tell yourself these lies? Do you ever hide from the love of God out of fear that deep down you are incapable of being loved?
One truly terrifying part of the love of God is that He does know all of those things about us and declares His love for us in Christ. The call to repentance is a call to stop hiding, denying, justifying, and ignoring the brokenness within us. Instead, we are called to present all of ourselves, the “good” and the “bad” before God to be loved.
Another terrifying part of the love of God is that in His love we find healing and transformation. Too often, we become comfortable and satisfied in our current state of misery. We have come to rely on our ability to conceal our pain and are unwilling to be healed. We have come to rely on the transient comfort of the lies we have constructed about ourselves, about the world, and even about God, the lies that give us the illusion that we are in control. Healing and transformation in the love of God threatens to disrupt our illusions so we turn away.
In this season of Advent, I invite you to hear the Baptist’s call, “ Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” I invite you to encounter the terrifying love of God. I invite you to encounter yourself as beloved. I invite you to turn away from the lies and deceptions that keep you from experiencing the ever present love of God and be healed and transformed.