Well now Paul had his peaks and his troughs didn’t he? Yesterday, a trough. Today, a peak! His intense experience of resurrection living gave Paul the clarity to pen this beloved scripture, again from Romans: Who will separate us from the love of God?!…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present nor things yet to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth nor anything in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Only someone whose heart was set free by the Risen Lord could write such soaring verse. Note Paul says who will separate us, not what. Not simply conquerors, but so much more. That death comes first in his rhetorically flourished list, only to be followed by life also! Resurrection assures us that death cannot separate us from God, but Paul astonishingly says neither can life with all its random vicissitudes! No governance, no earthly or cosmic power, and finally no of anything else Paul might remember later can do that! Finally, note nothing separates us when we are…you guessed it….en Christo. In Christ.
I am comforted enormously in our current challenges by this verse. Paul knew the suffering, both exteriorly through human cruelty and interiorly through sin’s unrelenting cruelty, very well. It amazes me that he also knew the limits to that suffering and where to go during his best and worst moments. Resurrection living is life saturated by God’s overwhelming love, which Jesus tells us to direct right back to God and then to each other and then to ourselves. Easter Christians are beloved and lover simultaneously, in a world so love-starved and love depraved. Please don’t exit Eastertide and miss the love!
- How are we beloved of God? This is a fundamental spiritual reflection for every believer. How, precisely and exactly and demonstrably, are we loved by God? Details please!
- How are we a lover to ourselves and to others? How, precisely and exactly and demonstrably, do we love others and ourselves? Remember, they’ll know Christians not by how much we know but by the character of our love!
- COVID-19 cannot separate us from God’s love. Neither can the stock market, retirement accounts, global turbulence, social isolation or any force on this earth. What obstacle must God’s redeeming love obliterate today for you to receive God’s love which Paul describes?! Why don’t you take that reflection into your prayer corner today and give whatever it is to God? To do with as He (sorry cannot help it) sees fit?!