To love and to cherish
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
When we hear the word ‘cherish’ many of us recall our marriage vows;(1) when we promised to hold dear our new spouse. Sadly, divorce statistics declare the lack of cherishing in marriages in the 21st century. The word ‘cherish’ is seldom used nowadays; is that an indication of how little we apply the word? The word stems from the 14th century old French word cherir (cher meaning dear), and the Latin carus. The Collins Dictionary definition is: to show great tenderness for, or to treasure.(2)
When we are given a gift that delights us, we often declare with sincerity: ‘thank you I will treasure this.’ And we do: we dust it carefully, we put it behind glass and admire it. Perhaps as we look around our possessions, we don’t have an item such as this. According to the younger generation in my family, the modern look is minimalist (this is, of course, a comment on my domestic clutter!).
We have all been given something that we must cherish, it is priceless and the whole world needs it, even though they don’t know it! I refer to our divine calling. A more excellent way, a way of peace, love, and hope. This awesome gift was given to us, not because we deserved it, but because God cherishes and loves us: ‘…God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ (John 3:16). It is imperative for all Christians to cherish and love our wonderful Father who sacrificed all for us.
‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’ (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). This is known as the Shema, taken from the word ‘hear’ in Hebrew. Modern Jews consider the recital of the Shema, each evening and morning, to be one of their most sacred duties. It was cited by Jesus as the ‘the first and greatest commandment’ (Matthew 22:36-37).(3)
Do we tell our great God in prayer and worship how much we love Him? Do we cherish all that He is? Let us bring the word ‘cherish’ back into fashion, as we live in the Father’s love, and humbly return it to Him.
Wonderful Father God, we love, honour and cherish you – living each day, we pray, reflecting that love you have for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Study by Irene Wilson
2 Collins English Dictionary – HarperCollins Publishers 2000
About the writer:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford congregation of Grace Communion International, and also serves on the Pastoral Council.
St. Peter’s Church
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