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God’s love is foundational

The Center for Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary estimates that there are currently 47,000 Christian denominations in the world. What that means is that if being a Christian is about have the perfectly right set of beliefs, you have only a 1 in 47,000 chance of getting it right (and that’s assuming that all 47,000 denominations have a church in your hometown!).

While beliefs and creeds have a role to play in the Christian life, on a more foundational level, what it means to be a Christian is that we are supposed to be people who have had an experience the unearned, undeserved, unmerited love of God (what we in the church call “grace”).

The experience of this love – this grace – is the foundational Christian experience. It’s ultimately what makes a Christian a Christian.

What God’s love is like according to the AI art generator, Midjourney 

What God’s love is like according to Jesus

What is the experience of God’s love like? Jesus himself put it a lot of different ways over the course of his ministry.

In Luke 15, he says it’s like knocking on the door of the home of an estranged family member fully expecting to be told to go pound sand, only to be greeted with happy tears and a hug and a having a welcome party thrown in your honor.

In Matthew 18, he says it’s like owing a crushing debt that is entirely of your own making, a debt you accumulated all by your lonesome, a debt that you would never in a million years be able to pay off, only to be told by your lender that the whole balance has been forgiven.

In Matthew 18, he says it’s like being a sheep lost in the wilderness, alone, afraid, wondering if anyone has even noticed you’re missing, only for the shepherd to leave behind all the rest of the flock to find you and carry you back to safety.

In Matthew 20, he says it’s like putting in an hour’s work on a vineyard, only to be given a full day’s pay.

According to Midjourney, God’s love is also like this. So… watch out, I guess?

What God’s love is like according to some modern parables

Following in Jesus’ storytelling tradition, Christians around the globe continue to try to describe and explain the contours of God’s love. And while oceans of ink has been spilt over this topic across the centuries, no one has yet to even come close to its limits!

In that spirit, I submit these modern day parables for your consideration:

God’s love is like this and so much more. Regardless of the words you find to describe it, may your experience of it fill your heart to overflowing that you may share it with the world! 

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