“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8, ESV)
I can still remember being a kid sitting in a wooden chair in Sunday school putting together a papercraft with the words, “God is Love” pasted across the bottom. In the midst of the broken crayons and chunks of dried glue, that simple phrase settled in my heart and mind.
When I got older, I would attend the church’s confirmation and youth group. It was through these experiences that I began to learn how much more complex the reality of one living and true God is.
“I believe,” the opening statement of the Apostles’ Creed says, “in God, the Father, the Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” (Matthew 5:7, The Message)
My grandparents have always been formative to my faith. They would take in and care for sick friends, family, or church members. Meals would be prepared and made before being taken to someone who just got home from the hospital. They would regularly visit neighbors who were homebound. And it was no surprise to anyone when they invited someone who was not able to be with their family at Christmas to our family Christmas breakfast. And the list could easily go on.
They have always been full of care for others.
“I am the Lord, and I do not change; and you, children of Jacob, have not perished.” (Malachi 3:6, Common English Bible)
From Dietrich Bonhoeffer‘s “The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst”:
We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us.
God does not change.