“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God…”
—I John 4:7a (ESV)
Dear Cobham Park Church Family,
Many people find art galleries boring, but I enjoy meandering through roomfuls of paintings. I’ll often stop to study and appreciate a picture, and my imagination takes me into the mood and details of its scene. Each artist has individual style and skill to appreciate, and he or she may have wanted to communicate something through their work. When I’ve had my fill, I exit the gallery and walk back into the scenes of real life. Even the best art is merely a rough representation of something “real” and true. Art is a human attempt to capture the rich experience of actual things like a sunset, city street, or a beautiful woman’s mysterious smile. And while art can reveal much about an artist’s inner world, it doesn’t unfold its depths. A painted canvas can hint at life’s rich experience, but it can’t come close to the experience itself.
As you and I meander through the gallery of life, we encounter many scenes of love on display. In one room, you may encounter the fierce and unconditional love of a good mother, or the sheltering care of a father. In an out of the way corner, you may have seen two young lovers lost in each other’s eyes; they feel passionate longing that must be experienced to be understood. Elsewhere in this gallery, you may find the nourishing love of a faithful friend. Although sorely tested through the years, this love only grows stronger.
Beautiful loves like these have endless variety and uniqueness. And yet they are all, at best, merely a rough representation of something far more true and real. That deeper reality is more fierce, unconditional, sheltering, passionate, nourishing, and strong than we can imagine. I would call it the love of God, but the Bible says that God Himself is love (I John 4:8). Don’t worry: He has made a way for us to understand and grow into the love that He is. Over there—have you seen it? God hung a vivid self-portrait in our gallery. He calls it “Jesus.”
In His Love,
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