Catchy title, eh?
So, I was asked by a good friend, fellow PTS alum and Tigers fan, to preach at his installation service in a couple weeks. It's pretty cool. We used to swap our kids to get to our classes Fall Semester of our Senior Year. We're heading to Comerica Park to see the Tigers play in 3 weeks - they're actually the closest of our friends up in Michigan, now that we're in Ohio.
Anyway, as I was contemplating a text to preach on, I came across this from Ephesians:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner bgin, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and etablished in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Eph 3:16-19
I don't have a great depth to preach from when it comes to knowing what it is to be a minister. Heck, he was ordained before I was and will be installed 2 weeks before me. But I can at least echo the words of Paul in relation to what I believe is the meat of our message - the well from which we need to drink and derive our message - the music that must fill our ears and be the platform on which we dance together:
Knowing the depths of Christ's love for us - But is it even possible? Just sit there for a moment and contemplate on that.
How great is the Father's love, that we should be called Children of God?!?
NOTHING can separate us from God's love - not height or breadth or depth - or anything in all creation!
We know love, not because we love, but because Christ first loved us - because God gave up his son, his very SELF - to experience pain, humilitation, separation from Himself so that we could be brought near!
Is our problem today as the Church that we have laxed in our theology, or polity, or ethical standards? Or is it that we have FAILED to experience the depth of Christ's love for us - and therefore failed to be filled by the fullness of God!
I cannot speak for anyone else, but I want to be broken anew - engulfed and submerged in the depths of Jesus love, so that I might be able to declare to others the wonderful truth of the gospel - the good news that is found in no other place, and in no other person, than in the one who loved us before we ever even knew ourselves...
[by the way, the above picture is my friend, a couple years ago while starring in the PTS theatre production]