Our Lenten Devotion for Saturday, March 5, comes to us from Steadfast Love by Henri J.M. Nouwen
But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV
“A human being is not someone who once in a while makes a mistake, and God is not someone who now and then forgives. No! Human beings are sinners and God is love. The conversion experience makes this obvious with stunning simplicity and disarming clarity.” (With Open Hands,84)
I think I will forever struggle with this conundrum: I am a sinner, But God, Almighty God, loves me anyway. Yet while I struggle, God goes all out to prove his love by letting his Son Jesus lay out the truth of his love in dying. It’s as if God is saying “Yes, yes I know you’re a sinner, you’ve told me that a thousand times. But when are you going to hear me when I say it’s not all about you – it’s about Jesus. Jesus came to prove my love, and he did it with a cross.” I suspect that I will always in some way wrestle with the idea the God could really love me, as the hymn says, “Just as I am without one plea.” But in my head and heart, I still keep hearing Jesus saying, I love you, I forgive you, and that’s that.”
This reflection reminds me of a lawn sign from one of our United Methodist churches. It says, “God Loves You, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Dear God, help me to rejoice and believe that when the devil accuses me, I can send him to the cross, for that’s where my sins are. Amen.
--Henri J.M. Nouwen