2 Samuel 6:1-11
“Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it!
I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are.
I’ll never quit telling the story of your love—
how you built the cosmos
and guaranteed everything in it.
Your love has always been our lives’ foundation,
your fidelity has been the roof over our world”
Psalm 89:1-2 (The Message).
Love is the first and final Word in our story:
in love we were knit together, intimately known even before we were born;
for love we were made – love of family, love of friends, love of lovers, love of the Lord;
and through Love we are set free from the bonds of sin and death and claimed for the eternal.
In the days of the prophets, there were words of warning and promises of restoration; exhortations to return to God; calls to repentance and fasting and sacrifice, cautions to remain faithful to God’s covenant with his people …
… so many times, so many ways … God reached out, redeemed, liberated, forgave, opened up the way ….
And then Christ came, the last and final Word:
the radiance of God’s glory,
the exact representation of his being,
the sustainer of all things by his powerful word –
Love. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
While you’re revelling in this love song of God always reaching out for you, let’s interject with another story ….
The people of Israel are having a party. David is king. He has captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites and defeated the Philistines and is bringing back the ark of the covenant to his new capital. There are songs of celebration; people laughing, pushing, dancing as they make their way in the procession.
And then the oxen stumble and a young man, unthinkingly, reaches out to stabilise the ark – this holy and sacred chest which housed the ten commandments and was a sign of God’s presence with them – and is struck dead in accordance with the Lord’s warning in Numbers 4:15b:
“But they must not touch the holy things or they will die.”
David is perplexed, afraid and angry, and puts aside the ark in the house of Obed-Edom for three months – where it a source of blessing to Obed and to his whole household.
The love of God is a fearsome gift;
the presence of God-with-us a precious thing.
Though the Good News of Christ’s coming may be cause for joyful singing and laughing and celebrating and dancing, the love of God for us is not to be taken forgranted or treated lightly …
… and the One who Loved us so much that he took on our form and entered fully into our life, suffering and death for us remains
the radiance of God’s glory,
the exact imprint of his nature,
the one who upholds the universe by the power of his word.
This is no little love but LOVE.
A Love to be in awe of.
A Love to cherish.
A Love to treat as sacred and holy.
A Love to take seriously.
A Love to honour and obey.
Today, consider a posture or a symbol of reverence that you can incorporate into your prayer life or Christmas celebrations … like Moses taking off his shoes on holy ground … kneeling in prayer … sitting with open, outstretched hands etc.