TRINITY SUNDAY A
We attach the word love to anyone or anything that brings us happiness and make us feel good. Those are the people, the things, the experiences of love. So we love our spouses, children, and grandchildren. We love our favorite team or our favorite food.
What makes God’s love so amazing is who he loves, why he loves, and how he loves. What does God’s love look like? Today’s gospel reading not only tells us who God loves, but also tells us why God loves and how God loves.
God’s love it seems is a little bit different than how we often think about love: God so love the world that he gave us his only begotten Son, that everyone who believes in his shall not perish, but have eternal life.
God created people to love him and to live with him forever. But, from the creation of the world, people loved themselves more than the God who created and cared for them. And sadly, that continues to be true of our world to this day.
Just look around and see the many ways that people have found to manipulate love.
Selfishness – leads people to be more concerned about what they want than about caring about the welfare of others or helping them or even attempting to be just.
Vengefulness, jealousy, and greed prompt people to acts of violence and hate-filled words that destroy relationships and end lives.
You find people who have decided to redefine love as anything they feel like doing regardless of what God has to say about it.
No; this is not a world that is in love with God. This is a world that’s in love with itself. When God sees the way we so often treat one another, let alone God, why would God continue to love us so much! Because God does not want us to perish. God wants us to know him, to love him, to serve him, and to be happy with him in this world and in the next.
God loved us so much that he gave us Jesus, his Son. Jesus, who is God himself, willingly enters the world, wrapped in human flesh and born of a woman. Jesus entered the world to live for us, to love for us, and to die – for us.
Of course, Jesus perfectly loved his parents and friends and followers. But he also perfectly loved those who hated his guts – so that everyone might have the gates of eternal life open to them.
Maybe you’re sitting there right now and thinking; that kind of love seems so great, but it also seems so far away. It just doesn’t feel like God loves me.
I understand that, I’ve sometimes felt like that too. Maybe it’s loneliness, sadness or fear that you’re feeling today. Maybe you have recently lost a loved one. Maybe it’s the uncertainty of the world we’re living in right now or the uncertainty of a job, a relationship, or your health.
But the great thing about God’s love is that it doesn’t depend on how we feel. God’s love is completely unconditional; it doesn’t depend on what we’ve done in the past or what we failed to do. None of those things can change what God has given us and wants for us. In fact, the love of God is the one thing that we can count on no matter what we may go through.
That, my friends, is what love looks like; not that we have loved God, but that God loves a sinful and perishing world so much that he gave his one and only Son that we may not perish but have eternal life.