“Dear friends , let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
1 John 4:7-10 (NIV)
Forty-eight years ago, in January 1967, my wife and I had our first child, a lovely baby daughter. At the time we were not married and my wife was only 18. The culture in those days was very different and being an unmarried mother was a matter of shame. There was no support from local or national government as there is today. Under a great deal of pressure from her parents, and certain she did not want to marry me, she gave the child up for adoption, a decision that broke her heart.
To cut a long story short I knew I loved her and kept courting her, and we married in April, 1969. We had three sons and we are proud of them, our three daughters-in-law and our three grandchildren—and we love them all dearly, but we never forgot our daughter.
In the sixties when you gave a child for adoption you were not allowed to know anything about their future. It was a closed door. But a few months ago we had a letter from our daughter’s husband saying Sarah would like to get in touch. We quickly replied and after an exchange of letters and emails we met our daughter last year. There was an instant attraction on both sides which I guess is not really surprising.
This happy event has healed some emotional wounds, and my wife and I both love our daughter very much. But we don’t love our sons and the rest of our family any less. We still love them all just as much as we did before but our love has expanded to include our daughter and son in law.
What has this to do with Christians? Well, it bought home to me that God’s love is infinite, absolutely limitless. In 1804 the world’s population was believed to be 1 billion people. 123 years later in 1927 it had doubled to 2 billion. Forty-seven years later, in 1974 it had doubled again to 4 billion people. By 1999 it was 6 billion, and by 2010 it is believed to have passed 7 billion. Yet God’s love is not limited to 1 billion, 2 billion or any other number. God’s love is there for every one of those 7 billion, or in fact closer to the 8 billion people alive today in 2015. Most of them don’t know that yet but one day they will. So it’s awesome that as our small family has expanded by two and our love has expanded to include them, so God’s love is there for every single human being alive today or alive throughout history.
God’s love is infinite: Father, Son and Holy Spirit live in a relationship of love into which they want to bring every human being. Truly, as one of the hymns we sing puts it, “ Our God is an awesome God !”
Loving, merciful, gracious Father, help us to understand the depth and breadth of your infinite love for us individually and for every human being. Truly you are an awesome God.
Study by Keith Hartrick
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
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