One of my favorite passages in Scripture is the so-called “Christ hymn” found in Phil 2:5-11. There, we learn how God’s love for each of us is incredibly deep. Christ, the text says, “emptied himself” (v.7). So much to say about this!
The cross was the way in which God put his love on public display: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). We know that, in this act of death on the cross, God was not watching from a distance. Rather, God was “in Christ,” reaching out us (2 Cor 5:19). Again, so much to say!
But let’s keep it simple. Perhaps the point to ponder this morning is this: As creator of all, God loves each of us with a deep love. He loves you. He loves all. You won’t meet anyone today who isn’t loved by God. Treat them accordingly. The Christian ethic flows downstream from the cross. In other words, we ought to love others the way Christ loved us (Eph 4:32; 1 John 4:11).
As someone recently noted, love is not something God does from time to time; love is who God is all the time. The church, then, ought to reflect this way of life. We ought to have the same “mindset that was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:5). His mindset? A willingness to love all – even his enemies – at great cost to himself. This is what the church ought to look like. When we don’t look like this, we misrepresent our Lord and we look more like dragons than lambs.
But the Lord is incredibly gracious, helping us to learn how to be lambs. Like Eustace, we have tendency to turn ourselves into fiery dragons. But, as C.S. Lewis so beautifully illustrated so many years ago, God knows how to turn dragons back into something beautiful again. And if we are willing, he’ll do it.
Let’s pray for one another as we walk in the love of the crucified God. Amen.