Loving God

So much of what is called ‘worship’ in the Christian community these days would be better described as a ‘God Fan Club.’ Our songs reflect this: God is Great, Great and Mighty, You Are Good, You Are Magnificent, There is None Like You, etc. Prayers have a  general sense of telling God how wonderful God is and how ‘blessed’ we are that God is our God.

We have put our emphasis on trying to love God, which is probably a good way to start—although we do not have a clue how to do that. What I consistently find in the mystics is an overwhelming experience of how God has loved them. God is the initiator, God is the doer, God is the one who seduces them. All we can do is respond in kind, and exactly as Meister Eckhart said, “The love by which we love God is the very same love with which God has first loved us.”

The mystics’ overwhelming experience is of a full body blow of the Divine loving them, the Divine radically accepting them. The rest of their life they are trying to verbalize that, and invariably finding ways to give that love back through forms of service, compassion and non-stop worship. This is not to earn God’s love; it’s always and only to return God’s love! “Love is repaid by love alone,” as my father, Francis said. – Richard Rohr, adapted from Following the Mystics through the Narrow Gate

That being said, I wonder if God is really at all impressed by how much we say (or sing) ‘I love you, Lord,’ and how creatively we express that. Perhaps God would be worshiped best by showing how much we love God–and return that love– in our humble, unnoticed and unlauded service to those who bear God’s image.

See also my earlier post, An Insecure God?


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