ARTICLE

Nothing can separate us from the love of God

It is not news that the community of Mt. Pleasant public schools (students, graduates, faculty, staff, parents and members of the school board), indeed, all the folks at Mt. Pleasant have had a rough ? a challenging ? week.


Many questions have been asked that demand answers; but, the answers offered have proved lacking ? inadequate. As much we may wish differently, there are events in our lives that make no sense and that have no satisfactory answers. Our human knowledge, simply, cannot explain and our rational, reason-seeking minds cannot pin down the ?why.? To be confronted with our human limitation and to be forced to deal with something that is impossible to understand is frustrating; but, it can also be profoundly sad, overwhelming, oppressive, and earth-shattering.


I pose an affirmation instead of an answer that I believe is far more valuable than answers to our questions, more helpful than our reliance upon explanation and logic, and more satisfying than our vain expectations of simplistic cause and effect. This affirmation comes from the Letter of Paul to the Romans found in the Christian Scriptures (NRSV).


In Romans 8, the apostle, Paul, writes about God?s love in Christ Jesus: ?If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God?s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor 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.?


No doubt, we do things that we shouldn?t and don?t do things that we should and these disappoint, even, dismay God. However, our faith informs us that God is not distant and detached from us; like a vengeful judge eager to pass judgement and punish. God is compassionate and merciful because God knows us and is intimately experienced with the human condition. God has been one of us; in Jesus, God felt the strength and immense power of all human emotions. Bluntly put, it is hard to infuriate One who loves us so completely that He died for us.


So, children of God, take heart. God is for us. God is perfect love. And, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.