To be sure, that can happen, but more and more I realize how, for most of us, love in the Christian life, or life in the Spirit, is much less glamorous. Love in the Christian life is something more ordinary, like making a telephone call to a person who has lost a loved-one, or taking time to make face-masks for healthcare workers, or sending cards for those who are living alone, or a helping a neighbor in need.
For the vast majority of us, I believe, that’s how love really works: ordinary actions in everyday situations, making a difference. Because in the Christian life such love is sacrificial: it suffers, and it understands that, if we are going to follow Christ, we will also suffer with Christ (8:12). After all, in Romans 8, Paul is not talking about love as hearts and Valentines. Rather, he is talking about the struggles we all face on a daily basis; he writing about how we all are to act sacrificially toward others, and especially toward those who are going through difficult times, through grief, loss, loneliness. And in our current crisis who among us is not experiencing such feelings? Indeed, if we aren’t, we are probably in some kind of denial – and that’s not good.
It’s why Romans 8 is such tonic to all the other “fluffy spiritualities” in the market place these days: the Christian life is not about fleeing into self-indulgence or away from the problems of the world, but is rather about being formed into the very likeness of Jesus Christ, which means being formed into a cross.
But it’s a cross that claims victory, and it’s a victory that leads us over bridges of conflict and struggle into God’s glorious presence, as we realize more and more that we are more than conquerors through the One who loved us and saved us, and convinced always that the following affirmation is indeed true: that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, not 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 8:38-39).
Brothers and sisters, there is no bridge too far for God. No bridge too far that can separate us from the One who loves us. How may we demonstrate such love now?
Pastor Andy Kinsey