Wide, wide as the ocean, high as the heaven above;
Deep, deep as the deepest sea is my Savior’s love.
I, though so unworthy, still am a child of His care;
For His Word teaches me that His love reaches me everywhere. – Charles Miles (1914)
There’s a lot to be said for sunshine, but I’ll admit I also enjoy the occasional cool, wet, rainy week. These last couple of days here have been classic examples of “It’s a little British outside.” But what better weather for getting comfortable, enjoying a pot of coffee, and writing my heart out?
This wet week is especially timely in light of all the new planting in our garden, and the cooler temperatures (yesterday never made its way out of the 50’s) are a refreshing reminder that we live in a part of the country where spring is an actual season rather than a wistful idea.
ANGER! I may be naïve, but I find myself honestly amazed – “nonplussed” may be an even better word – at how readily so many people fail to appreciate the day to day blessings of the life we enjoy. Instead of humble gratitude and a consequent generosity of spirit, we seem to have become a nation where the most important question is,”What are you angry about?”
This phenomenon is abundantly evident in the politics of 2016. And it’s sadly true in religion, too, where it doesn’t seem to be okay anymore to appreciate one another’s diversity while worshipping together in grateful unity, with the understanding that we’re all a little bit wrong and that’s why we need Jesus – and each other.
I am convinced that the practice of deliberately sowing seeds of discontent, and actively promoting disunity plays directly into the hands of the powers of darkness. When people of faith allow themselves to be manipulated by fear and anger (or other people’s fear and anger) it sends the world the message that the gospel is ineffectual.
WIDE AS THE OCEAN! Think about that for a moment. When we know Jesus and the liberating power of his wide-wide-as-the-ocean embrace, we need not fear what we don’t understand! When we allow ourselves to be absorbed into God’s deep-deep-as-the-deepest-sea love then we have the confidence to give all our concerns over to God!
Life is good! God’s love for us is broad and expansive, and there is room in it for both us and the people we think have their theology, their doctrine, and their politics all wrong. It’s okay!
Those people who are confused and flat-out wrong are still loved by God’s deep as the deepest sea love. When I am wrong, and when you – “though so unworthy” – are wrong, there is still room in God’s wide as the ocean embrace; you – I – “still am a child of his care”.
If it’s something you cannot handle, then be sure that it’s something God absolutely can handle. In the meanwhile, be grateful for the massive, huge, epic, generous, merciful love of God that brings us together, and worship – with your errant, unworthy brothers and sisters – in spirit and in truth.
“For his word teaches me that his love reaches me – everywhere!”
Can I get an Amen? – DEREK