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23 March 2014
posted by Canon Dakin on 30-03-2014

3rd Sunday of Lent

Love is a fuzzy word. Last week I watched Law and Order UK.   A woman murdered her husband because she loved him. Her love would seem to have been possessive though, as with so much modern drama, the story-line was not always clear. I take refuge sometimes in repeats of older programmes like Heartbeat. You know the opening song about your heart missing a beat.    That refers to love as an emotion. St Paul this morning speaks of the Holy Spirit pouring love into our hearts.  That is a love which is deeper than emotion.  It is a love that God shares with us.  God is love. God is a cluster of relationships held in tension by a total gift of one self to another. There is no emotion in God. No change or fluctuation. God is eternally the same. We are introduced by the Spirit into that exchange of love. The Father relates to us as to his Son with a total self-giving which we call our state of grace and we are to relate to the Father as the Son does, but when we say we love God we are disappointed because the heart doesn’t miss a beat. That’s not surprising.         A man and a woman have been married for twenty years. He goes to meet her off a bus. As she steps down to the pavement his heart is hardly likely to miss a beat.   There is no reason why it should because we are not talking here about love as emotion but as devotion, as a mindset. As soon as we speak of devotion we are in the sphere of God-talk. October Devotions, Lenten Devotions - imply doing something for God. Why should we? We didn’t ask to be created; we didn’t ask to be born. But we were created out of love and God is looking for our response. There is a prayer which begins: My God I love you because you loved me first.  The whole balance of our lives depends on convincing ourselves of God’s love. It’s not rocket science. What more could God have done to convince us than by sending his Son to earth. What is in your mind when you come to the altar to receive the bread transformed into the God who died for you? Do we reflect on the humility that is driven by his love, on the generosity of his desire to share with us what is his as God.  How many times has it been said of humans: If you knew him, you would love him, too”. We get to know God by reflecting on what Jesus did. Lent is when we turn our minds to it.    

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