Reading: Romans 5: 6-11
Verse 8 – God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Sometimes it is hard to really understand how much God loves us. Sometimes it is hard to fathom how a pure and holy and perfect God could want to have a relationship with humanity. One looks at the world and society at times and wonders why God is still engaged. Yes, the faithful do offer some hope. Those who are followers of Christ do try and live according to God’s ways and try to live in ways that are pleasing to God, in ways that shine His light into the world. There are many folks working to build God’s kingdom here on earth.
But Paul is not writing about today. Paul is writing in a world that was drifting in the other direction. The Jews were not seeking to spread the news of God, to bring new people to the faith. It could be argued that the faith had become religion – more about following all of the rules and less about a relationship with God. Looking back over the course of the Old Testament, there is cycle after cycle of disobedience, punishment, eventual repentance, restoration of relationship. Over and over again. It was into this scenario that God sent His only Son. It was into this world of sinners that Jesus came. Verse eight reads, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. While the world was broken, sinful, far from God, it was then that Jesus came.
It would be like taking time today to help that coworker who always gets on your nerves. It would be like giving a ride to that dirty, stinky person who you know is going to ask for money before you reach your destination. It would be like bringing a meal to that neighbor who never says thankful and always has something to complain about the meal the next time you talk. It would be like saying hello to that older gentleman again this Sunday when all he does is scowl and grumble something under his breath. Each of these and any worse one can imagine are just a sliver of the love that God showed in sending Jesus. It was a show of love beyond our wildest understanding. It is extreme love. May we go and do likewise.