Agape: March 20, 2020

Agape: The 2020 Lenten Devotional for St. Paul's Episcopal Church

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:35-39

I don’t feel much like a conqueror. I feel lucky if I’ve made it through the day without killing myself or someone else. I realize the Bible tells us nothing can separate us from the love of God, or the love of Christ, and I guess it’s true – or they wouldn’t have said it. Still, I know myself well enough I have to at least stop and ask the question: Is it true? Is it really true? And if it is, what should I do?

My go-to answer is simply this. I shall arise each morning and thank God for a new day. I shall do what needs doing throughout the day to the best of my ability, and when the day is done, I shall go to bed thanking God for the day now ended. I think if I focus more on giving thanks as the parentheses that encapsulate each day, God will take these virtual grammatical marks (…) and convert them into genuine hugs. That which God embraces will NOT come unhugged by any force we will ever face – and for that, I give thanks.

God, I know within my head that your love passes all understanding, and I know that whatever I may do or fail to do will not cause you to drop me like a hot rock from your cupped hands. You hold me tight. You always have and you always will. We have your word on it, and that’s really all we need. Thank you. Amen.
-Keith Axberg