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Our Wonderful Life with God

September 7, 2012

In his book Souvenirs of Solitude, Brennan Manning shares about time he spent at a retreat in Pennsylvania. In the stillness, he sensed the Lord say to him, “I want you to accept my Father’s love.” Manning responded, “But I know that. It’s old hat. I’ve come up to this deserted place seeking new insight. I’m in a fit of fervour, red-hot, wide open. I’ll listen to anything you have to say. Go ahead, Lord, dazzle me. Lay a new word on me. I know the old one.” And He answers, “That’s just what you don’t know – the old one. You have no idea how much I love you.” And then the Lord began to pour out his heart to him, telling him how much he loved him, that his heart was breaking with love for him.

I pray that all of us may never, ever forget that God loves each and every one of us more than any words can describe or mind imagine.

Because God loves you, God invites you to beauty, a wonderful life.

The Biblical book Song of Songs speak about human romantic desire for one another, about eros love – delighting in one another. This is holy and to be celebrated. But from the earliest times, the contents of this book have also been applied to our relationship with our Lord Jesus – and I’d like to do this in this posting.

I’d like to do this, because doing so reminds us that we are invited by our Lord to a relationship of love that should fill us with this kind of excitement.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13 says: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

Verse 8 speaks about the one doing the inviting: “Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills.” He is full of vitality, strength, full of life. And he wants to share this life with us.

Over the summer, I followed Eugene Peterson‘s suggestion in Answering God of getting back to the ancient practice of reading Psalm a day. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I must confess before doing this to having my list of favourite psalms (including psalms like 23, 46, 73, 91, 121, and 139), and thinking that this list was pretty well fixed. Well, on roughly day 36, I stumbled upon verses 7 to 9 from Psalm 36, and found that my list of favourites still has openings for additions! 

Psalm 36:7-9 reads:
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

I pray that I always remember these words deep in my heart. Our God invites you, invites me, invites all people to a journey of discipleship, in which we share God’s life in all its wonder and abundance. Thanks be to God!

(This is adapted from the sermon at our September 2 Services. Embedded below is a brief video of Cameron Falls in Waterton, which I had the joy of visiting with my family on the August long weekend.)

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