Knowing the Love God Has for the Unloved
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'” Matthew 3:16-17 NIV
James is a homeless young man who came for the first time to Sandwiches and Scriptures last Tuesday. After our discussion time of the Scriptures, we gave an opportunity for prayer requests. James shared about his desperate need to find a place to live. He had been staying temporarily with a family member but he didn’t feel welcome and sensed he would be kicked out on the street any day. He broke down crying before us. He told us that he had no family to help him and sadly his wife had left him. Our hearts went out to him.
Carol is a mother with adult children. During our prayer request time, she told us that she was very troubled by her children’s way of living that was not the way she had taught them. She had tears as she shared that she felt a failure in raising her children.
Philip is a mentally challenged young man who came to Sandwiches and Scriptures the week before. During our prayer request time, he shared that he had to leave the family he was staying with in Fishers because they had abused him. He had tried staying at a men’s shelter but left because of the poor conditions and lack of oversight of the bad behavior of the men who stayed there. He was living now on the streets. He broke our hearts.
James, Carol, and Philip exposed their deep needs to us. They struggle, like so many who come to CCDC, with the need for affirmation and closeness with others. We all long for personal relationships because we are made in the image of the perfect relationship of the Trinity. We see this at the baptism of Jesus with God the Father affirming his deep abiding relationship with His Son. If this was important for Jesus to be affirmed, how much more it is for all of us fallen human beings. The deepest human need is to know we are loved and have value to someone else.
As we listen to their stories, we feel their pain of isolation and abandonment. We cannot offer any quick solutions, although we can recommend the organizations and missions that can help them. Even more importantly, we can share God’s affirmation and love for them. They are not alone. They may not have a family that cares for them, but we care for them and want them to know they are a part of God’s family.
In the story of Jesus being baptized, we are given a window into the amazing relationship that God the Father and God the Son have in the Trinity with the Holy Spirit. This is the divine love that God has for us, his children. The Godhead of the Trinity is not a cosmic unity. It is not a Star War “Force.” God is completely love. God is more than loving. God is love. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love…” 1 John 4:16 NIV
No matter what our circumstances are, no matter how lonely and unloved we feel, we can rely on God’s love for us. “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” Psalms 27:10 NIV. Our ministry exists to convey God’s love and affirm that even when the world seems against us, even when we have no one to support us, God will not abandon his children. Help support us to be the arms of Jesus extending God’s infinite love and divine grace. You can make a difference in the lives of those who have no one else who cares for them.
May God’s Peace be with you,
Pastor Jim and Debby Riley