Brennan Manning writes this in his book , “ Furious Love:”
Jesus says, “ live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you.” John 15:4 (MSG)
Home is a place of welcoming love, nonjudgmental acceptance, accompanied by many signs of affection. His intimacy is startling, contrary to all pontifications of certain religious leaders and champions of deuteronomic morality. Their unbending rule- keeping petrifies His furious compassion. This should not be so.
This awesome love of our invisible God has become both visible and audible in Jesus Christ, the glory of the only Son filled with enduring love. The apostle Paul prays for us all in Ephesians 3: 17-19:
“That you, being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to now the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
Do you hear what Paul is saying? The love of Christ goes beyond knowledge. We’ve got to let go of our impoverished, circumcised, traditionalist, legalistic, human perceptions of God and open ourselves to the God in Jesus Christ. If we will, the promise is that we will be filled up with the fullness of God. That is truly good news!
So much of what was presented to me as real in bygone days, I now see as the fictitious. The splenetic god of alternating moods, the prejudiced god partial to Catholics, the irritated god disgusted with believers, the warrior god of the “just” war, the fickle god of casuistic morality, tut-tutting our little weaknesses, the pedantic god of the spiritually sophisticated, the myriad of gods who imprisoned me in the house of fear; I could go on.
Von Balthasar’s credo rings true to me: “ love alone is credible.” The real God of unrestricted love corresponds to the Jesus of my journey.
The closer I come to death, the less inclined I am to limit the wisdom and infinity of God. The confession of John the apostle that GOD IS LOVE is the fundamental meaning of the holy and adorable Trinity. Put bluntly, God is sheer “Being in Love” and there was never a time when God was not love. The foundation of the furious longing of God is the Father who is the originating Lover, the Son who is the full self expression of that love, and the Spirit who is the original and inexhaustible activity of that Love, drawing the created universe into itself.
A few words from me…I am like Brennan-the older I get the fuller God’s love becomes. The things of the world-tradition, legalistic ways, and human perceptions become less and less important to me. All I want is more of God. For myself and for others. We must reach the depth of the Father’s heart by helping one another get there. To be “lifter upper’s” not “pusher downer’s.” Being in ministry this year has only solidified this in my heart. Heart’s have been battered, bruised and broken by the things of the world. People don’t need to hear how many things they’ve done wrong-they already know it and most people live in their own private sea of guilt. It’s like beating an abused dog over and over again. Why would anyone do that? God is calling people out to love like never before. He is pouring out His Spirit and He is calling sons, daughters, mothers, brothers, sisters and fathers to bring His passionate, fiery, furious love to a new level. It is an extravagant love that is not known nearly enough in this world. When all other tactics have been exhausted love is left standing. It is unexplainable, uncontainable and immeasurable.
( Art by Amanda Leonard)
I am reminded of the Prodigal Son. He did everything wrong, took everything his father gave him and blew it on the things of the world. It wasn’t until he got so down and out that he cried out to his father and asked to come home. Home. Home is where the heart is. Home is where our Father wants us. He longs for us to cry out to Him and only HIM. The son was so broken that was all that he wanted-nothing else mattered anymore. He discovered the true treasure – the immeasurable love of a father for his child. So what did the father do? He waited and he prayed and he watched. When the son came home he welcomed him with arms wide open.
When Jesus died on the cross he stretched his own arms wide open for each one of us and with the love of His Father in his heart he poured out the ultimate act of love.
You are loved beyond all measure and no matter what has happened to you God wants you to come home too. He wants to lift you up, dust you off and help you on your way.
That’s what Daddy’s do.