I heard about a girl who in breaking up with her boyfriend wrote this note: “I will always cherish the initial misconception I had about you.” That’s a dagger. It’s like, “I love who I thought you were”. You can’t love someone for what you wish they were. Real love doesn’t happen in fantasy. It happens in reality.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that true Christian community begins with disillusionment. You aren’t really loving your Christian brothers and sisters until they’ve disappointed you and you choose to stick with them anyway. THAT is where you see the love of Christ!
That’s exactly what Jesus does for us individually and as a church. In Revelation 2 – 3 we read some letters Jesus sent to seven churches in Asia Minor toward the end of the first century. Only two did not receive any rebuke from Him. The church in Laodicea who received the most severe rebuke is also told by Christ that He loves them.
Last night Cindy and I were privileged to go to the Andrew Peterson Behold the Lamb of God Christmas special at the Ryman.
One of the singers was a young lady named Jess Ray. She sang a very powerful and thought provoking song she wrote entitled “Too Good”. It is a song of encouragement to people going through various kinds of weakness. A line speaking about the greatness of God’s love for us, which is the theme of the song, says this: “It may be too good to be understood, but it’s not too good to be true.”
I got to thinking about how the love of Christ has been that way for me in my life personally – it’s hard for me to understand it. But I know it’s not too good to be true. This is true in our lives personally and as a church body – it’s not fantasy. We have disappointed Him in decisions we have made in our lives, but He still chooses to stick with us. I found such comfort in that line from the song. I hope you do too. (You may want to look it up on You Tube).