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Runaway Humanity


When our children were little, one of our favorite stories to read them was The Runaway Bunny

At one level, the story is about a little bunny rabbit that keeps running away from its mother, and all the things his mother does to bring him back to her.

But surely the story is about something else, too: it’s not just a story about a rabbit and his mother.  

Surely this is a story about God, and all the different ways we human beings try to run away from God, and the things God does to bring us back to him. 

Scripture teaches us that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8).

It’s not just that God loves: God really is love…

God is so much love that God just couldn’t keep it to himself.

So that is at least part of the reason God created the world – not just any world, but this world, this beautiful world – the sky and the seas, fish and birds – and plants – God created those things as a way of expressing his love for us.

But from the very beginning, we have tried to run away from God’s love.

So God says, in effect, “if you, humanity, run away from me in creation, then I’ll bring you back through my special people – Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and Moses. I will send you laws, Ten Commandments, to live by, so you’ll know how to love me and love each other.”

We said, in effect, “well if you send Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Moses, we won’t listen to them, and we’ll forget your laws.”

If you forget my laws, said God, then I’ll send prophets to remind you, remind you how much I love you and how you should love each other.

If you send prophets to remind us, we said, we’ll ignore them – we won’t listen to them.

If you won’t listen to my prophets, God said, then I’ll become whatever you become, I’ll become one of you…a human.

I’ll show you myself how to love one another and me.

And so God became one of us.

This is the kind of love we’re talking about: God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…he loved us so much he became one of us, a human, in Jesus.

And what did God-made-human say when he was with us?

He said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart,

All your mind,

All your strength,

And love your neighbor as yourself.

There is no law…no commandment greater, or more important than that.

Well…as the events of Holy Week recall, we – humanity – ran away even from that love.

We did more than run away from it:we killed that love.  We nailed it to a cross.

(Humanity cannot run any further away from God’s love than that.)

But – as the events of Easter morning will remind us – on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women went to the tomb to see Jesus’ body.
 
The stone to the tomb had been rolled away, so they went in.
 
But when they got inside, they couldn’t find Jesus’ body.
 
It wasn’t there.
 
Then all of a sudden, two angels were standing there and all this light was around them, and the angels said,
 
He is not here. He is risen.
 
Don’t you know?

Can’t you hear God saying,

I will fish for you,
climb for you,
dig for you,
move you,
stretch out my arms of love
take everything you have to offer

But I WILL catch you in my arms and love you.

God says:

There is nothing, nothing, nothing you can do to make me stop loving.

Can’t you hear God saying,

You might as well quit running, and be God’s beloved child?

Comments

  1. Thank you so much. What a very understandable story about the love of God for each and everyone of us. Christ has risen, Happy Easter. Mary Lindahl

    ReplyDelete

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