Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Readings for September 13, 2020; Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 103:1-12; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18: 21-35
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:1-2,11-12
When my sister was a young mom, I remember her saying to her children, “How much does Mommy love you? …As high as the sky and as wide as the outside!” and with those words came arm movements, an underarm tickle, and hug at the end. I was an impressionable teenager when my sister was in her thirties and raising her babes. I recall the love she had for her children and how I drank in her love and compassion, patience and grace. Perhaps it is why when my children were young I shared the same words and actions with them. Although a fun activity, it was also meant as a reminder of a parent’s deep love for their children. And now with my sister no longer with us, it provides a heartwarming memory of her.
I am sure my sister’s phrase originated from the verses of Psalm 103, which speak of an even greater love than what we, parents, even have for our children. It is the depth of love God has for his creation and those who trust and respect him as the one and only God, the Great I AM, their Creator. It is the complete and utter forgiveness we receive from him, our Saviour, despite what our sins deserve. Oh what peace! Oh what joy is ours in knowing we are loved so much; you are loved so much!
Envision yourself being wrapped up in his arms as your God says, “ How much do I love you, (insert name here)? As high as the sky! …And How much are you forgiven? As wide as the outside!” then with a tickle he holds you close. That, my friend is what God has personally said to you in Jesus, as he spread his arms, east to west, so that nails could be driven in and he could take our place. So turn to him, rest in him, and be confident in his love and forgiveness. Then go and extend that love and forgiveness, without condition or judgement, to all those who come seeking. Be God’s voice to them saying, “I love you dear one, as high as the sky and as wide as the outside, always and forever!”
Prayer: Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases, who redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion, who satisfies my desires with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Praise the LORD! In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN! (Taken from Psalm 103:1-5)