Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5)
Life is about seeking after the One – one love, one truth, one hope, one joy. It is about discovering the various combinations that make up the One and recognising that it is meant to be unified because it is all about the One.
So we were at cell group session tonight and talking about Luke 1 where Mary has a conversation with Gabriel about the good news he’s had to share with her. Later on in the chapter Mary meets Elizabeth and gets a confirmation that sparks a little praise party. I mentioned as we explored the Word how it must feel to Mary.
It’s obviously speculation so it’s not to be taken as doctrine, but it’s worth considering. So there the promise is that one day the Messiah will arrive and He must come through a woman, so in a sense every woman is there wondering if it will be her. Is it her. How incredible it would be if you were the one. All that grief that you’ve had to carry, all that baggage, all those issues will mean nothing because you are the one. I was referring to it as looking at it that at that moment all the deepest held desires in the world come true and you above all women are highly favoured. You are the one.
Yet you are only the one to bring forth the One and the One you bring forth is of far greater importance that the carrier.
Sometimes as Christians in pursuit of various earthly desires and goals we tend to forget that Jesus calls us individually and collectively to be the one who carries across the One. What an honour. What a privilege. What a joy. What a blast. What a gig. You are the one who gets to show others the One.
All day today in some shape or form there’s been a thing about one. When I was on my way to work the finale to A Chorus Line came to my head. It was only this evening that I discovered where I’d blogged it before. Even then when I did a bit of research I discovered that the film version wasn’t well received not least among the original creators of the musical on which it is based. Why? Because it did not reflect the truth of the one original.
I mean even reflecting about my wife and the whole concept of marriage leaves me thinking that I seriously am cheating myself out of the quality, riches and beauty to be found in faithful, monogamous relationship in even considering anyone else other than Authrine in the slightest. I think about how complex and deep she is and the level of work and investment it takes just to know her – to really know her. Just when I think I’m making progress something will crop up to reveal hidden depths and aspects of who she is. All those things go missing when she is not the one for my heart. All of those things – those riches, those complexities, those wonders of a single individual human being are lost and tragically so when there’s not that commitment to finding out and searching them out further.
Yet this plays as a mere small fry analogy to a relationship of far greater importance. I was reminded again today that I only ever truly love because it’s a reflection of ever truly being loved. I believe I have the capacity to love, and this is helped by a loving parental upbringing, but this does not prepare me for true love. It didn’t prepare me for a love for my wife in the way I live it. More importantly it was but a small insight into the far greater, diverse, deeper, richer love of God for me.
It is in the light of that love that I am able to love. It is in the light of that sacrificial love not based on merit or what has been earned but solely on the character of love of the one who loves. It is in that light that I learn how to truly love and the first and only port of call for that love is the one who gave that love. So I love because I’ve been loved, even as I forgive knowing how much I’ve been forgiven and embracing and diving into the love that sent the only begotten to be sacrificed, I realise that the love shed in my heart by the Holy Spirit can even enable me to endure hardship of many kinds, because the love of the One is far greater than any pain I go through.
As I even start to take that on board I’m left mesmerised and amazed and grateful for the love of One and see that it is more than reasonable in the light of that one love to love Him with all that I am. This was highlighted this evening. It was minutes after I’d shared that concept of being the one during the session tonight that the topic of the next quarterly study series was revealed.
Now my heart has really been burning about reviewing Matthew 5-7 again after the tremendous impact it had in my life back in 2006. I’ve been badgering on about it because of its Christocentric nature and its call to real discipleship based on Kingdom principles that confound any earthly impression but get to the heart of how God created us to be. After all I can only love my enemy in the light of a Father who loved His enemies so much that He was able to see them made His family. Of course it doesn’t make sense, but then it’s not reliant on the recipient, but the giver and the eternally forgiving, loving-kind nature that allows that to happen.
If you’re thinking that hell and judgement might be a problem, it’s not when you consider the holy nature of God. The two compliment each other well – but that doesn’t make God easy to explain at all.
It does draw me to seek Him more and enjoy the journey when as I get to know Him I realise that I don’t know Him and everything I know about Him is only an invitation to get to know Him deeper. Such is the intensity of the journey of getting to know Him that it takes all the body, mind and soul and leaves no room for anyone else. That level of all out reflection of God’s character is the nub of the talk in those two chapters in Matthew.
So guess what the title of the new quarterly is? And guess who is privileged to be sharing in the teaching duties for this his one passion? Guess who is the one, honoured and privileged to be the one to share about the One who really matters?
For His Name's Sake